Picking Winners: How Political Organizations Influence Local Elections (with Alexis Miller).
Endorsements have become a part of most election cycles. They come from a variety of sources (civic organizations, elected officials, newspapers, etc.) and are intended to signal voters that one candidate is preferential to another. Yet, there is still a lot that we do not know about endorsements. In this paper, we provide insight into the process of how organizations and newspapers endorse candidates, provide evidence that demonstrates candidates believe these endorsements are important, and test the claim that voters are aware of these endorsements even when controlling for factors such as partisanship, ideology, and education. We also test the claim that issue positions explain vote choice better than endorsements. We rely on interview data and exit poll data to test our claims. Using data from an at-large municipal election, in which voters selected up to three candidates, we find that awareness of endorsements explains vote choice better than issues, but partisanship, the race of the voters, and ideology also matter.
Latino Incorporation in Durham: Black Incorporation, Political Organizations, and the New Electoral Alliance.
This book revisits the concept of political incorporation among Blacks in Durham and demonstrates how a Black political organization helped Blacks achieve political incorporation in the city. With the increase in the Latino populations in cities like Durham, I ask whether or not Latinos need their own political organization to achieve political incorporation. I rely on exit poll data, interviews with local organizations, city councilmembers, candidates running for city council, and the Mayor to show how organizations (through endorsements) aid in the incorporation process. I also update the measures of political incorporation used by Browning, Marshall, and Tabb (1984) and Keech (1968). Ultimately, the project considers the potential for a Black-Latino coalition in the city of Durham.