Bigot Crossings

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Which party has more bigots -- Republicans or Democrats?

Conventional wisdom says the GOP. After all, the vast majority of African-Americans vote Democratic, and the establishment media frequently imply the GOP harbors hostility to minorities (as in the comment by a network correspondent that a GOP effort to project an "image of tolerance and diversity [is] starkly at odds with reality").

A recent analysis by Yale's Ebonya Washington in the Quarterly Journal of Economics sheds a different light on the question. It examines the phenomenon of crossover voting -- specifically, the percentage of voters from either party who pull the lever for the other party's candidate.

In the several elections between 1982 and 2000 that Ms. Washington studied, when the Republican congressional candidate was black and the Democratic candidate was not, Republican crossover voting increased 25 percent. In gubernatorial contests with the same racial dynamic, GOP crossover voting increased 18 percent.

Now flip the script. When the Democratic candidates were black and the Republican candidates were not, Democratic crossover votes increased 38 percent in congressional contests and 20 percent in gubernatorial contests.

In short, Democrats flee from black candidates more often than Republicans do.

Interesting how what popular impression is different once analyzed.

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