Faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences are pursuing research agendas linked to political communication. They focus undergraduate students’ attention on the symbiosis between politics and communication, with special emphasis on digital technology’s growing role in campaigns and public policy debates.

Race and Voter ID Laws

October 10, 2010 - The University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication has released analysis of a newly-published study of race and voter ID laws.

The study reveals that seeing a photograph of an African American voter and poll worker affected how white respondents answered a survey question about voter ID laws. White survey respondents who saw this image expressed stronger support for voter ID laws than those who saw no image. Seeing an image of a white voter and poll worker did not affect white respondents’ support. Research faculty David C. Wilson and Paul Brewer supervised the study.

“Our findings suggest that public opinion about voter ID laws can be racialized by simply presenting an image of African Americans voting” said Wilson. “The resulting increase in support for the laws happens independently of political ideology and racial attitudes.”

Voter ID laws require individuals to show government issued identification before voting. Controversy surrounds the role of these laws in next month’s elections for Congress and state offices. A number of states have passed voter ID laws in the name of preventing voting fraud. Polls consistently show that a large majority of Americans favor the laws.

Some opponents of voter ID laws say they are designed te prevent African-Americans, students and low-income voters from casting ballots. The United States Supreme Court recently blocked Wisconsin from implementing its voter ID law, less than a month before the November 4 elections. A federal appeals court also struck down a Texas voter ID law, ruling that the law discriminated against African American and Hispanic voters.

The University of Delaware study shows white voters were somewhat more likely to favor voter ID laws when they were shown an image of black voters and poll workers, compared to white voters who saw no image.

Download the study here.



The University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication has released results from a new public opinion poll in Delaware, as part of its National Agenda program. National Agenda is supported in part by the William P. Frank Foundation of Delaware.

The poll shows both incumbent Delaware members of Congress with wide leads over their opponents in the upcoming 2014 election. Results give U.S. Senator Chris Coons a 27-point lead over Republican nominee Kevin Wade, and incumbent U.S. Representative John Carney with an even larger lead, of 35 points, over Republican nominee Rose Izzo.



On October 30, 2013, the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication released timely information from a Fall, 2013 public opinion poll in Delaware, at the National Agenda program. National Agenda is supported in part by the William P. Frank Foundation of Delaware. The poll measured Delawareans’ opinions on Delaware news and politics, including topics such as gay marriage, voting rights, internet security and surveillance, and the standing of Delaware officials.

Portions of the CPC public opinion poll were featured in the Wilmington News Journal.

More information about National Agenda 2013 is available here.


National Agenda Public Opinion Research (2012)
- Supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the UNIDEL Foundation
Breaking Boundaries: Symposium on Political Entertainment Media (2011)
Civic Engagement 2.0 (2010)

CPC Assistant Director for Research
Paul R. Brewer
Professor of Communication
Assistant Director for Research, Paul Brewer

Some faculty of the Center for Political Research meet with UD alumnus David Plouffe, 2008 campaign manager for President Barack Obama.
(l to r) Elizabeth Perse, Lindsay Hoffman, Phil Jones, Ralph Begleiter, David Plouffe, Suzanne Austin, David Wilson
Coordinator, Research in Politics and Technology
Lindsay Hoffman
Assistant Professor of Communication

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