Racial minorities can win elections. Here’s what’s holding them back.

March 20, 2023

MSU PLS Professor Matt Grossmann, director of @IPPSR and a Senior Fellow at the Niskanen Center in Washington, DC, interviewed fellow PLS Associate Professor Dr. Eric Gonzalez Juenke about what could be holding back non-white candidates for office in this Niskanen Center podcast.


As the U.S. diversifies, political representation is not keeping pace. But that doesn’t mean we can blame the voters. Black and Hispanic candidates do win elections when they run and generate support from their parties. In fact, it could be that apprehension about how voters would react is what is holding back political representation.  Eric Gonzalez Juenke finds that non-white candidates that barely win primary elections over white candidates do at least as well in general elections as white candidates who barely win—if not even better. Minority candidates can win, in either party and even in districts without large minority populations.