-- the fact that Blacks have manifested a pattern of voting behavior which has seen the majority of Blacks cast their ballots for the same candidates at local, state and national elections; blacks voted 89% for Democrats in the election of 1998.4   The pattern of political coherence reflected in 1998 has been traditional in both local and national elections and is illustrated briefly below with respect to Blacks voting for Democratic candidates for President:

Table 2. Black Vote for President, 1980-1996

Year 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996







Source: "Portrait of the Electorate," The New York Times, November 10, 1996, p. 28.

     -- or how it is that the Members of the Congressional Black Caucus cast their votes for the same issues, having the consistently highest liberality rating in the Congress as a group; this group, according to one study exhibited a "unity threshold of 90% on an analysis of roll call votes during the 1980s which was sustained regardless of the degree of prior consultation.5  Bositis also found in his analysis of the 103rd Congress that the Congressional Black Caucus Members maintain "great cohesion" and a "remarkable degree of agreement" finding that in analysis of 45 votes, on nine of these votes (20%) the CBC was unanimous, but that the "CBC Members voted on average, 83.9 percent of the time."6

     -- or why it is that, with respect to public opinion, the Black public at large consistently expresses a predominant consensus on issues of public policy or social practice. A review of the issue positions of Blacks in the 1996 shows:

Table 3. Black Cohesion on Priority Issues


% Black Priority Issue
Smaller Tax Cuts 86.9
No cuts in Medicare Spending 84.9
Favor a per child tax credit 73.4
Favor vouchers




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November 1999