The Multiracial Legislator (Dis)Advantage

Working Paper*, Mar 15, 2019

Numerous studies have examined whether legislators from racial minority groups are better advocates for those communities. While the two-or-more races, or multiracial, population has rapidly grown, we know little about the politics of multiracial legislators. How do multiracial legislators make sense of their identities? What are the implications of their presence for legislative relations? I present preliminary findings from interviews with multiracial legislators.

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Danielle Lemi

Danielle Lemi is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Latino Public Policy at the Latino Center for Leadership Development and the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, where she teaches courses on race and ethnic politics. As a scholar of race, ethnicity, identity, and American politics, her current research interests revolve around the consequences of intragroup diversity. Danielle uses experimental and elite interview methods to apply theoretical frameworks of identity and group behavior to questions of voter evaluations of diverse candidates and intergroup relations in legislative institutions. Her work has been published in Politics, Groups, and Identities and Du Bois Review. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the APSA Latino Scholarship Fund, the Qualtrics Behavioral Research Grant, and the William Steiger Fund for Legislative Studies. Danielle received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Riverside in 2017, and grew up in the California East Bay Area.

*This working paper was made possible by the US 2050 project, supported by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and the Ford Foundation. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors.


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