Asian Candidates in America: The Surprising Effects of Positive Racial Stereotyping
Political Research Quarterly, Forthcoming
30 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2015 Last revised: 15 Sep 2016
Date Written: July 18, 2015
Racial stereotyping has been found to handicap African-American and Latino candidates in negative ways (Terkildsen 1993, Sigelman 1995). It is less clear how racial stereotypes may change the fortunes of Asian candidates. This paper explores the candidacies of Asian Americans with an experiment run through Amazon Mechanical Turk as well as real world evaluations of Asian-American candidates using the Cooperative Congressional Elections Study. In my experiments, I find that Asian candidates do significantly better than white candidates across different biographical scenarios (conservative, liberal, and foreign). I find that, contrary to expectations, Asian candidates are not significantly disadvantaged from being immigrant and foreign born. My experimental results mirror my observational results, which show that Asian Democrats are significantly advantaged even when compared to whites. These results indicate that Asian candidates in America face a set of racial-political stereotypes that are unique to their racial subgroup.
Keywords: Asian American Politics, Race and Ethnic Politics, Minority Candidates
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