Voters perceive non-white politicians as more liberal — even when they’re not

“Here, the results show that even when given clear and specific information about a politician’s record, voters categorize them by race and infer ideology and party affiliation based on generalizations about racial groups.”The findings were based on a July 2011 survey of about 1,850 U.S. adults, which included a roughly equal number of black, Hispanic, and white respondents.The participants were shown a fictitious “Issues and Legislation” webpage of either a black representative named Joe Washington, a Hispanic representative named Jose Gonzalez, or a white representative named Joe Mueller. All three webpages included a prominent image of the fictitious representative in the banner heading.All three webpages stated the fictitious representatives’ position on Obamacare, the 2009 stimulus, a pathway to citizenship in the comprehensive immigration reform bill, increasing taxes on those earning $250,000 or more, and the use of racial profiling by airport security officials.The participants then rated how liberal or conservative the representative was. They were also asked whether the Congressman was a Democrat, a Republican, or an Independent.Jones found that black and Hispanic representatives were perceived as significantly more liberal than the white representative, even though the policy positions of all three were identical. The black representative was perceived to be about 2.76 percentage points more liberal than the white representative, while the Hispanic representative was perceived to be about 2.44 percentage points more liberal than the white representative.The participants were also more likely to view the two non-white representatives as Democrats.

 

via Voters perceive non-white politicians as more liberal — even when they’re not.

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