The Party's Primary Preferences: Race, Gender, and Party Support of Congressional Primary Candidates

42 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2015 Last revised: 1 May 2019

See all articles by Hans J.G. Hassell

Hans J.G. Hassell

Cornell College - Department of Politics

Neil Visalvanich

Durham University - School of Government and International Affairs

Date Written: April 29, 2019

Abstract

Party support has a strong influence on candidate success in the primary. What remains unexplored is whether party actions during the primary are biased along racial and gender lines. Using candidate demographic data at the congressional level and measures of party support for primary candidates, we test whether parties discriminate against women and minority candidates in congressional primaries and also whether parties are strategic in their support of minority candidates in certain primaries. Our findings show parties are not biased against minority candidates and that white women candidates receive more support from the Democratic party than do other types of candidates. Our findings also suggest that parties do not appear to be strategically more supportive of minority candidates in districts with larger populations of minorities. Lastly, we also find no differences in the effects of party support on the likelihood of success in the primary by candidate race or gender.

Keywords: campaign finance networks, race and ethnicity

Suggested Citation

Hassell, Hans J.G. and Visalvanich, Neil, The Party's Primary Preferences: Race, Gender, and Party Support of Congressional Primary Candidates (April 29, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2703326 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2703326

Hans J.G. Hassell

Cornell College - Department of Politics ( email )

600 First St. SW
Mt. Vernon, IA 52314
United States

Neil Visalvanich (Contact Author)

Durham University - School of Government and International Affairs ( email )

Durham, DH1 3HP
United Kingdom

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