Unifying Demand and Supply-Side Theories of Minority Representation: A Logical Model
48 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 29, 2020
Understanding minority descriptive representation entails critical implications for the Voting Rights Act and redistricting. However, existing theories that focus on either voter demand or candidate supply cannot fully explain and quantify the chance of the presence (and absence) of minority candidates in all districts. To offer a more comprehensive explanation, I derive a quantitatively predictive logical model of minority candidate emergence. I show that the probability of minority candidates running for office can be computed by a simple mathematical function with two variables. Using novel data sets of Louisiana mayoral elections and state legislative elections, I demonstrate that the logical model can correctly predict 89% and 94% of minority candidate emergence and victory, respectively. The logical model unifies the demand and supply-side theories, provides new insight that the district racial composition is only half of the story and previous elections also matter, and can potentially assist future electoral engineering.
Keywords: quantitatively predictive logical models; minority representation; candidate emergence; electoral engineering
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