'Assess the significance of region, race and religion as factors explaining voting behaviour.'

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When attemting to explain voting behaviour, there are many factors which can be considered as to why a person may vote either Democrat or Republican, particuarly with the USA being so vastly diverse. This can make it harder to predict voting behaviour, however when looking at significant factors such as region, race and religion trends can definitely be seen in core voters, something of which the two major parties can often rely on.

The USA has always been a melting pot of immigrant groups with differing cultures and traditions, and so as a certain race increases in the electorate, they become more important to win over. The African American vote has never been less than 83% for the Democrats between 1980-2012. With the Democrats known for their support during the civil right era, and with policies in welfare favouring the less affluent, minority groups are bound to support the Democrats, particularly with the first black presidential nominee. In 2012 the black vote made up 13% of the electorate, a figure which had risen from the 11% they made up in 2004. Given that in 2012 87% of black men voted for Obama, and 96% of black women did, the increase in the black turnout makes them even more significant than they already were. This is similar when considering the hispanic vote. In the 2000 census, hispanics made up 12% of population however in 2010 this had risen to 16%. At the moment, while hispanics are still important in that they currently make up 10% of the electorate, a large proportion of the hispanic population are still too young to vote, meaning that when they eventually become part of the voting-age population, the hispanic vote will be very important to whoever recieves it. In 2004 the Bush administration made a push for the hispanic vote, highlighting their importance. Given that Bush himself spoke spanish and his brother is married to a hispanic women, the hispanic vote for Republicans rose from 20% in 1996 to 34% in 2004. Since then it has...