This Independent Study explores the relationship between socioeconomic status and preference for the caucus and primary as a means for nominating presidential candidates. While studies examining caucuses and primaries have been done in the past, most have focused on factors such as ideology. Despite substantial research on the relationship between socioeconomic status and voting in general, though, there is relatively little attention given to the relationship between socioeconomic status and voters’ attitudes toward primaries and caucuses. I theorize that voters of a higher socioeconomic status will view the caucus system as more representative and accessible compared to a primary. In order to conduct this research, I use a survey that was conducted through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to gather information on respondents’ socioeconomic status, age, race, political knowledge, party identification, and views on the primary and caucus system. After receiving the data from the survey, I ran the information through a linear regression analysis using the service SPSS in order to see which variables were significant. The results of this analysis were mixed: while socioeconomic status had some effect on how voters evaluated caucuses and primaries, these results were inconsistent and did not definitively confirm that higher socioeconomic status contributes to more positive evaluations of and a preference for caucuses. Rather, which aspect of socioeconomic status is foremost in voters’ minds affects whether they view the nominating contest in question as representative or accessible, and similarly affects whether voters indicate a preference for a primary versus a caucus. This study has important implications for the way that political parties nominate candidates for president and attempts to find the nominating contest that is the most accessible and representative for the largest amount of people.
Palmer, Lucas Andrew, "Effect of Socioeconomic Status on Voters Preference for Primaries Verses Caucuses" (2021). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 9385.
Politics, Elections, President
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2021 Lucas Andrew Palmer