White-mansplaining Under-Representation: How Mediocre White Men Beat Qualified Women and Candidates of Color in Primary Elections

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Hickey, Ashley; Behling, Abigail; Ho, Caroline
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Despite the record number of women and candidates of color running for office since 2016, racial and gender minorities continued to be under-represented in elected office. In this project, we collect data on primary elections for state legislative office to examine the role of candidate quality on the success of women and candidates of colors. Prior research suggests that in low information and low salience elections, voters will rely heavily on gender-based and racial stereotypes for their vote choice. Thus, our hypothesis is that more qualified women and candidates of color will be beat by less qualified white men. Our findings support the argument that primary elections are not race or gender neutral.