Graduate Program

Political Science

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Thesis Director

Ryan P. Burge

Thesis Committee Member

Jeffrey S. Ashley

Thesis Committee Member

Kevin R. Anderson


In explaining vote choice of minority groups, scholars of American politics often characterize them as natural democrats. They argue that they have become natural Democrats because of their minority identity and the constraints they faced throughout the history of the United States. However, this thesis questions the characterization and highlights the issue preferences of minority groups; it analyzes whether their issue preferences have an impact on shaping their vote choice. By analyzing the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) 2016 survey, this thesis has explored that minority groups vote for candidates who pay greater emphasis on the issues they care about. Moreover, their political ideology and party identification are being greatly influenced by their issue preferences.