Do Identity Frames Impact Support for Multiracial Candidates? The Case of Kamala Harris

51 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2020 Last revised: 2 Nov 2021

See all articles by Katherine Clayton

Katherine Clayton

Stanford University; Dartmouth College

Charles Crabtree

Dartmouth College

Yusaku Horiuchi

Dartmouth College - Department of Government

Date Written: August 28, 2020

Abstract

The number of multiracial candidates seeking office is growing in an increasingly diverse America. This raises questions about how the media frame candidates with potentially complex racial backgrounds and how voters respond to these frames. We investigate the impact of media frames that emphasize race and gender attributes using survey experiments on Kamala Harris---the first Black woman and first Asian woman vice president. Our findings are mixed. In a survey experiment conducted after her nomination, headlines emphasizing different elements of Harris's race or gender had no impact on public attitudes. In an experiment conducted after Harris was inaugurated, however, headlines that cued her gender only or both her gender and her Black racial background boosted popular support. Taken together, these findings suggest that some types of identity-based cues may matter, but the effects are sensitive to experimental settings and contexts.

Keywords: identity politics, media frames, multiracial, race, gender

JEL Classification: C91, D72

Suggested Citation

Clayton, Katherine and Crabtree, Charles and Horiuchi, Yusaku, Do Identity Frames Impact Support for Multiracial Candidates? The Case of Kamala Harris (August 28, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3694625 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3694625

Katherine Clayton

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Dartmouth College ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

Charles Crabtree

Dartmouth College ( email )

211 Silsby Hall, 3 Tuck Mall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

HOME PAGE: http://charlescrabtree.com

Yusaku Horiuchi (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Government ( email )

204 Silsby Hall
HB 6108
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

HOME PAGE: http://horiuchi.org

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
104
Abstract Views
566
rank
327,018
PlumX Metrics