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Does Incumbency Matter?: Black Voter Support for Non- Incumbent POC Democratic Candidates in the 2018 Congressional House of Representatives Elections (with Andrea Benjamin, University of Oklahoma)


During the 2018 House of Representatives elections, the United States saw a larger influx of minority candidates than elections in recent years. Many of these candidates were non-incumbents who ran successful campaigns against long-standing incumbents. Using the 2018 Cooperative Election Study data (CCES), we analyze the likelihood of Black voters to support White candidates over minority candidates, with a focus on incumbency status. Previous research has found that Black voters tend to display a larger affinity to support minority candidates due to theories such as group identity and racial voting. Given what is known from the literature about Black voting patterns, our study sets out to determine the extent to which incumbency matters for Black voters in the 2018 Congressional House of Representative (HOR) elections. The findings of our analysis reveal that Black voters are significantly more likely to support Democratic POC candidates, and significantly less likely to support Democratic white incumbents as compared to white voters. The findings of our study illuminate that both the affinity to support minority candidates and incumbency matter to Black Voters.


Understanding Public Opinion Toward Black Women Political Elites (Center for American Women and Politics)



This research brief investigates whether Black women leaders’ dual race-gender identity creates additional disadvantages in terms of public perception compared to their counterparts in other race-gender groups. This research points to the necessity for political practitioners to consider how historical stereotypes persist as obstacles for politicians from marginalized, intersecting identities.



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