National Science Foundation Awards Political Scientists $490,000 Grant to Research African-American Issues in Presidential Election

May 5, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas — The National Science Foundation has awarded two political scientists at The University of Texas at Austin a $490,000 grant to study African-American political opinions and behavior in the 2008 presidential election.

Tasha Philpot, assistant professor of government, and Daron Shaw, associate professor of government, will recruit, interview and collect data from a national sample of African Americans in collaboration with the University of Michigan's 2008 American National Election Study.

The researchers will analyze voting, public opinion and political participation of African Americans. Philpot and Shaw also will examine political conservatism in the African-American community and black attitudes toward African-American political candidates.

"This study will significantly enhance our ability to gauge the range and diversity of African-American voters' attitudes and behaviors in conjunction with this historic presidential election," Philpot said. "It also will help inform comparisons of African-American voter behavior with that of whites and Latinos."

Philpot is the author of "Race, Republicans, and the Return of the Party of Lincoln," which explores how political parties use racial symbols to reshape their image among the electorate. She is an affiliate of the Center for African and African American Studies and the Center for Women's and Gender Studies at the university.

Shaw is the author of "Unconventional Wisdom: Facts and Myths About American Voters," forthcoming from Oxford University Press. He worked as a strategist in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections and serves on the national decision team for Fox News.

Learn more about the 2008 American National Election Study.

For more information, contact: Jennifer McAndrew;  Tasha Philpot, Department of Government, College of Liberal Arts, 512-232-3681.