Deracialization in the Deep South: Mayoral Politics in Atlanta

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The concept of deracialization is examined in an election in which all major candidates are black. Citizen characteristics and opinions expressed in a telephone survey are used to predict candidate preference. Findings indicate that race remains an important factor in electoral behavior, even when all candidates are black. The successful candidate, Maynard Jackson, drew support across race and class lines and may be said to have run a deracialized campaign. This research suggests that a clarification of the interaction of race and class and their effects in municipal elections is essential for understanding voting behavior and deracialization in city elections.