Michael Tesler

Can white voters who back a Black candidate still hold racist beliefs and views?

That question has come to the fore in the wake of Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial victory in the blueish state of Virginia. Conservatives were quick to counter claims that Youngkin’s win represented the effectiveness of stoking racial fears with results from Virginia’s down-ballot election for lieutenant governor — a contest where the Republican candidate, Winsome Sears, made history by becoming the first Black woman elected to statewide office in Virginia. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, for example, emphatically mocked the notion that “voters called white supremacists elected a Black Lt. Gov.” Conservative commentators on Fox News and Twitter, including Sears herself, also used the historic victory as an ostensible shield against accusations of Republican racism.

But supporting a Black candidate hardly precludes voters from harboring racist beliefs and motivations. Republicans are increasingly more likely than Democrats to hold prejudiced views of minorities, so Black Republicans like Sears often draw especially strong support from white Americans with otherwise anti-Black views simply because they draw most of their support from Republican voters.

For the full story, please visit https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-racist-white-voters-often-favor-black-republicans/


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