How ‘strategic’ bias keeps Americans from voting for women and candidates of color

Strategic discrimination occurs when a party leader, donor or primary voter worries that others will object to a candidate’s identity. As a result, these key actors may not endorse, fund or vote for candidates who fall outside the norm due to their race, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

The problem is not direct bias or animosity. Rather, strategic discrimination is driven by concerns about other people’s views.

By Regina Bateson, Professor, University of Ottawa

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