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When does race matter? exploring white responses to minority congressional candidates.

Visalvanich, Neil (2016) 'When does race matter? exploring white responses to minority congressional candidates.', Politics, groups, and identities., 5 (4). pp. 618-641.


How significant of a factor is race in minority candidate evaluation? I present theory of race and minority candidate evaluation which argues that candidate race acts as an informational heuristic that affects perceptions of a candidate's ideological leaning and competence but that this effect is dependent on contextual factors, including the racial group and candidate partisanship. Using the 2010 and 2012 Cooperative Congressional Elections Study, I provide an observational look at Latino and Asian candidates in addition to black candidates for the first time, as well as minority candidates of both partisan stripes. I examine voter perceptions about candidates that might drive their vote choice, namely ideological assessments and competence assessments. I find that white voters are less likely to support Latino and black Democrats because they are viewed as less competent and more ideologically extreme. I find that Asian candidates and minority Republicans are largely unaffected by these biases.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Politics, Groups, and Identities on 25/02/2016, available online at:
Date accepted:18 January 2016
Date deposited:08 March 2016
Date of first online publication:25 February 2016
Date first made open access:25 August 2017

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