Racial Composition, White Racial Attitudes, and Black Representation: Testing the Racial Threat Hypothesis in the United States Senate

Racial Composition, White Racial Attitudes, and Black Representation: Testing the Racial Threat... We make the case for why the racial threat hypothesis should characterize the relationship between states’ racial composition, whites’ racial attitudes, and black representation in the United States Senate. Consistent with this claim, we find that senators from states with larger percentages of African-Americans among the electorate and more racially conservative preferences among whites provide worse representation of black interests in the Senate than their counterparts. We also apply theories of congressional cross-pressures in considering how senator partisanship and region moderate the effect of white racial attitudes on black representation. Finally, consistent with the racial threat hypothesis, we show that the negative effect of white racial attitudes on the quality of black representation is stronger when state unemployment rates are higher. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Racial Composition, White Racial Attitudes, and Black Representation: Testing the Racial Threat Hypothesis in the United States Senate

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-011-9173-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We make the case for why the racial threat hypothesis should characterize the relationship between states’ racial composition, whites’ racial attitudes, and black representation in the United States Senate. Consistent with this claim, we find that senators from states with larger percentages of African-Americans among the electorate and more racially conservative preferences among whites provide worse representation of black interests in the Senate than their counterparts. We also apply theories of congressional cross-pressures in considering how senator partisanship and region moderate the effect of white racial attitudes on black representation. Finally, consistent with the racial threat hypothesis, we show that the negative effect of white racial attitudes on the quality of black representation is stronger when state unemployment rates are higher.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 2, 2011

References

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