“No, You’re Playing the Race Card”: Testing the Effects of Anti-Black, Anti-Latino, and Anti-Immigrant Appeals in the post-Obama Era


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Despite the sizable literature on racial priming in political campaigns, scholars have failed to account for the shifting reality of race in politics. First, theories of racial priming have not yet been applied to increasingly common anti-immigrant and anti-Latino political appeals. Second, theories of racial priming have failed to take into account the increasing salience of race and the increased tolerance of explicit racial appeals among white Americans, both of which violate central axioms of the Implicit-Explicit (IE) model of racial appeals. In a survey experiment fielded over a year with four different samples, we find consistent evidence that the IE model only weakly holds for contemporary racial appeals. In our “most-racial” era, we find that white respondents are more likely to recognize the racial content in racially coded black and Latino appeals but also tolerate it at higher levels than previously seen.


Last updated on 07/18/2019