Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

May 1997


Published in Great Plains Research 7:1 (Spring 1997). Copyright © 1997 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


This paper examines the nature of the electoral coalitions that develop surrounding gubernatorial candidates in the states of the Great Plains. It focuses on the contribution various groups make toward the electoral success or failure of gubernatorial candidates, highlighting the underlying political divisions within a state's population. This paper marks a first step into the study of these coalitions by offering a basic description of them. Some discussion of how electoral coalitions respond to candidate and campaign- related factors is presented. The implications of these findings are discussed, along with several considerations for further research. The data used for this analysis come from election day exit polls and a content analysis of the newspaper coverage of each campaign.