Abstract and Keywords
Racial divisions have played a large role in shaping society and politics throughout the United States, but nowhere have they been as continuously important as in the South. In the region with the largest presence of both conservative whites and African Americans, the political preferences and priorities of whites as a group and blacks as a group have been and often continue to be in conflict over many issues. Beyond their distinctive views concerning specifically racial issues, whites and African Americans have differed significantly in their perspectives about the proper role of government and the relative priority of individual versus government responsibility for personal and family economic well-being. These long-standing differences structure the party system. The vast majority of African Americans in the South are Democrats, whereas majorities or pluralities of white southerners are Republicans.
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