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White/Black Perceptions of the Electability of Black Political Candidates
ByLinda F. Williams
Pages 20

Black political candidates suffer from negative stereotypes and white bloc voting. Black candidates apparently do less well in at-large elections because they are unable to attract sufficient white voters. Black political candidates fared poorest in whites' perception when the goals were related to pressing national issues such as peace and prosperity. Blacks held racial stereotypes generally favoring political candidates of their own race. On the average, three times as many whites reported that white candidates were superior to black candidates in both goals achievement and personal attributes. White opposition to a black presidential candidate—whoever he or she may be—is currently monumental. Some whites, of course, do vote for black candidates and figure prominently in determining their victories. Negative perceptions of black political candidates among whites can be far more damaging to the prospects of black political candidates than analogous perceptions among blacks can be for white candidates.