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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Political experts explore election results

The voter turnout for the 2004 presidential election was 11 percent higher than in the 2000 election, said Jay Arekere, associate director and associate research scientist at Race and Ethnic Studies Institute at Texas A&M, who also presented voting patterns from the results of the election Thursday at Evans Library.
“It takes 45 minutes or about an hour after the presidential election for people to start asking the questions: What does it mean? And why did someone win?” said Paul Kellstedt, professor of political science at A&M. “It is difficult in the 2004 election to definitely talk about that. I think the kind of declaration from the press that this is all about moral values is really premature.”
A&M experts on U.S. cultures and politics gave a panel discussion on the 2004 presidential election, analyzing the results from race, age, gender, ethnic and urban vs. rural perspectives.
Arekere said that 117.6 million people voted in the 2004 election; 58 percent of whites voted Republican while 41 percent of whites voted Democratic; 11 percent of blacks voted Republican and 88 percent of blacks voted Democratic; among Hispanics, 43 percent voted Republican and 56 percent voted Democratic; and for Asians, 41 percent voted for Republican and 58 percent voted Democratic.
The election results also showed that 45 percent of 18- to 29-year-old whites voted Democratic, whereas 86 percent of blacks in the same age group voted Democratic; 37 percent of 33- to 44-year-old whites voted Democratic, and 89 percent of blacks in the same age group voted Democratic.
In this election, Kerry received 3 percent more votes from women than Bush.
Nikki Van Hightower, professor of political science and interim chair of women’s studies at A&M, said more married women voted for Bush than Kerry, and more single women voted for Kerry than Bush.
“It shows that single women are looking at the war and politics rather differently from the married women,” Hightower said. “Some explanations I might speculate on are that single woman feel more vulnerable; they have children to care for, and they are much more heavily relying on government programs.”
Arnold Vedlitz, professor of political science and the Bob Bullock Chair in Government and Public Policy and director of the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy at the George Bush School, said there were movements from the Democratic and Republican candidates, but that the nature of the campaigns raised some questions about future campaigns in the United States.
“(The questions are) how expensive campaigns are becoming, how nasty campaigns are becoming, how little information is being conveyed in campaigns, what poor jobs media is doing in covering the campaign to provide information to us and the significant and uncontrolled role of the third-party activist,” Vedlitz said.

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