The Limited Impact of Identity Frames on Support for Multiracial Candidates

27 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2020

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: September 17, 2020

Abstract

The number of multiracial candidates seeking office in the United States is growing in an increasingly diverse America. This presents the media with new choices about how to frame candidates with potentially complex racial backgrounds. We investigate the impact of these decisions using a survey experiment on Kamala Harris---the first Black woman and the first Asian woman to appear on a major party's presidential ticket. Our results reveal little evidence of framing effects: relative to a news headline ignoring race and gender altogether or a headline only highlighting gender, headlines that emphasize Harris's Black, Asian, or multiracial background do not change voters' attitudes toward the Biden-Harris presidential ticket. These findings suggest that simply highlighting different elements of a multiracial candidate's background is insufficient to boost or dampen popular support. While identity frames could be more powerful in other contexts, concerns about how the media present multiracial identities may be overblown.

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

JEL Classification: C91, D72

Suggested Citation

Clayton, Katherine and Crabtree, Charles and Horiuchi, Yusaku, The Limited Impact of Identity Frames on Support for Multiracial Candidates (September 17, 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
United States

Dartmouth College ( email )

Hinman Box 3936
Dartmouth College
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://sites.dartmouth.edu/horiuchi/

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

Paper statistics

Downloads
53
Abstract Views
278
rank
436,113
PlumX Metrics