The Minority Voter, Election of 1936 and the Good Neighbor League
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The minority voter has long been of interest to historians and political scientists, especially during presidential election years. Although a great deal has been published on how minorities have voted in particular elections, there have been few studies on their actual participation in political campaigns.
This new microfilm publication is designed as a case study of minority, including African American, women, and ethnic, involvement in a presidential election campaign, using the 1936 Democratic Campaign as a model. The 1936 election provides an excellent example due to the importance of the election to minorities and the Democratic Party, and because of the availability of manuscript material on the Good Neighbor League - the principal "auxiliary" organization through which minorities participated in the 1936 Democratic campaign.
The Good Neighbor League was a vital force in helping make minorities part of the Roosevelt coalition in 1936. Through recruitment and publicity, they were one means Democrats used to attract minority voters to Roosevelt. Their activities show that bringing together such a coalition was not a chance occurrence, but a well-planned political move whose basic premise was the New Deal legislative program. Minorities proved by their participation that they would be a significant influence in elections to come.