Summary: Bringing Race Back In addresses several timely questions about political behavior, black candidates, and race in 21st century America. In particular, Bringing Race Back In explores whether black candidates can make racial appeals to the black community without sacrificing white and Latino support. The study uses content analysis of over 2,000 newspaper articles for over 30 presidential, U.S. Senate, and gubernatorial elections with African American candidates in combination with the quantitative analysis of state exit polls and U.S. Census voter surveys.
The results reported in this book demonstrate that black candidates who make positive racial appeals (e.g. racial appeals which demonstrate that the candidate will either advance black policy interests or highlight the candidate’s connection to the black community without attacking outside political players) not only perform better among black voters, but they also improve their standing among Latino and white voters. This finding counters conventional wisdom which suggests that black candidates can only succeed in majority white settings if they distance themselves from the black electorate. Overall, Bringing Race Back In maintains that black candidates can reach the highest echelons of American politics without sacrificing their presumed racial values and ties to the black community.