. 6
( 7)


munity. All of this could have long-term consequences for race relations
in this country. If black representation continues to expand and white
Americans continue to grow more sympathetic to the plight of the black
community as a result, it may be possible in the future to enact large-scale
reforms that reduce basic racial inequalities. Contrary to what many have
argued, then, black representation does matter.
This book is not simply a story about black representation. It is also a
story about white Americans. What white Americans do or do not do in
response to black empowerment tells us a lot about how race works in the
minds of white Americans. The pattern of white behavior detailed in this
book leads to two critical conclusions about the white community. First,
it is clear that race still matters in the American political arena. The fear
that whites express, the intense mobilization of the white vote, and the
almost overwhelming opposition that most black challengers face from
white voters all express whites™ strong aversion to black challengers and
suggest that many white Americans continue to be quite threatened by
the prospects of black empowerment.2 This fear has declined over time,
but even today, under a range of circumstances, racial threat and racial
competition continue to shape white political behavior. Moreover, judging
by the negative attitudes of some whites toward the black community and
the imperviousness of those attitudes to change, there is also evidence that
at least a segment of the white community remains prejudiced. It is not
clear that anything will change that.
But the second and far more important insight about white Americans
that emerges from this book is that for many others change is possible.
The alteration of the white vote under black incumbents and the shifting
views of many white residents under black mayors strongly suggest that

2 The pattern of reactions across different contexts reinforces this point. The fact that
white opposition to black challengers varies systematically with the size of the local black
population and is greater in areas with a larger black population also suggests that race
is critically important for many white Americans.
Conclusion: A Tale of Caution and Hope 161

some whites can learn from their experiences. All white Americans are not
equally open to the information that they get from black Americans and
some resist change altogether, but some do change. Many white Americans
are not blind and resolute on matters of race. The critical point is that
positive change can and does occur.
This point is well worth highlighting. In the past, black gains have
usually been met with white resistance, which has often led to a reversal
of many of those gains (Klinkner and Smith 1999). The successful effort
of white Southerners to eliminate or reduce African American political
rights in the aftermath of the Civil War is one of the sharpest examples of
this pattern. The often violent efforts of white Americans to try to reverse
the gains of the Civil Rights Movement merely repeated this pattern.
Even today, increases in black power tend to spawn white mobilization.
Given the apparent reluctance of many white Americans to cede power
and resources to the black community and the willingness of the white
community to occasionally engage in violent actions to try to undo black
gains, it is vitally important that we identify and draw attention to con-
texts where members of the white community respond more positively to
black empowerment. My work suggests that there is at least one context
where black gains are often followed by more, rather than less, white
support. Black representation certainly cannot solve all or even most of
America™s racial ills, but if it can begin to reduce racial divisions in the
political arena, then it is a goal well worth pursuing.
The positive changes that we see under black incumbents inevitably
raise a question. Why is black representation different from other forms
of interracial contact? In this book, I have argued that it provides informa-
tion about blacks and their interests that white voters perceive as credible.
Black leadership provides this type of information where other types of
interactions do not because black electoral victory represents one of the
¬rst times that African Americans have the power to affect the well-being
of the white community. Black co-workers can seem reassuring, black
neighbors can display counter-stereotypical behavior, and black political
candidates vying for of¬ce can promise not to enact a pro-black agenda,
but the words and actions of members of the black community are gen-
erally not accepted by whites as informative. Black leaders, on the other
hand, because they have power, are perceived as different from other
members of the black community, and their incumbency therefore pro-
vides information that is much harder for whites to dismiss. The fact that
black leaders can in¬‚ict real harm on the white community makes black
electoral victory especially threatening but also especially informative. As
Changing White Attitudes

a result, black leadership represents one of the few contacts between the
two races that has positive consequences.
The positive change under black representation also provides an impor-
tant lesson for how we should study race and interracial dynamics. Much
of the mainstream literature on race is locked in an overly simplistic
debate. On one side, scholars argue that there has been little, if any,
change on matters of race. According to these authors, America is essen-
tially still a racist society, and this fact permeates almost all aspects of
the political arena. Pettigrew epitomizes this view when he argues, “Race
in America still serves as a political lightning rod that attracts political
energy whether the candidates intend it or not” (1988: 32). Some are even
willing to argue that “race will always be at the center of the American
experience” (Omi and Winant 1994: 5). On the other side of the debate
are those who believe that the importance of race in the political arena
has greatly diminished. As Thernstrom notes, “White voters may reject
a black candidate for precisely the same reasons that whites may reject a
white. . . . On merits or inadequate electoral appeal” (1987: 216). Some go
so far as to claim that racism is largely a phenomenon of the past (D™Souza
1995; Highton 2004). “Being Afro-American,” one writer concludes, “is
no longer a signi¬cant obstacle to participation in the public life of the
nation” (Patterson 1997).
As I have said, however, to portray white Americans as simply “racist”
or always “race-blind” overlooks the variable nature of race in America.
This book shows that the key question is not if race is central in the
political arena but rather when it is central. In order to understand how
race works in American politics, we have to try to determine when racist
voting is more likely to emerge, when color-blind politics are most often
prevalent, and ultimately why these differences occur. In short, we need
to understand how context changes the meaning of race.3
Finally, the positive change that occurs under black mayors highlights
the potential for politics to play a central role in the lives of Americans.
There is a widely held perception among scholars of American politics
that the political arena is peripheral to the lives of Americans. And in

3 Although some researchers have made this point in the past, most studies of racial politics
pay it little heed. Huckfeldt and Kohfeld have argued, for example, that “racial con¬‚ict is
fundamentally a group phenomenon, subject to environment and structural properties that
are variable through time. Thus, the pattern and consequence of racial con¬‚ict in electoral
politics must be understood in terms of particular groups at particular times in particular
places” (1989: 44). Cohen and Dawson (1993), Hero (1998), and Bledsoe et al. (1995)
have also in different ways demonstrated the importance of context in understanding
racial politics.
Conclusion: A Tale of Caution and Hope 163

many ways surveys back up this perception. Few Americans are actively
involved in the political arena and most profess to little interest in political
affairs (Verba, Schlozman, and Brady 1995). Moreover, most Americans
appear to be unaware of either who their elected leaders are or what
they are doing in of¬ce (Delli Carpini and Keeter 1996; Campbell et al.
1960; Althaus 2003). But the ability of black mayoral leadership not only
to change white voting behavior but also to alter white racial attitudes
testi¬es to the signi¬cance of politics. Positive change in the arena of
racial politics is hard to come by. The fact that the election of one black
candidate to of¬ce appears to improve white attitudes toward the African
American community suggests not only that white Americans do pay close
attention to the political arena under certain circumstances but also that
attention to politics can, over the long term, affect inter-group dynamics
in important ways.
The main contribution of this book is to show how information gar-
nered from black representation alters the attitudes and actions of white
Americans. Knowing that this change occurs is important. What is per-
haps just as or even more important is being able to use this new knowl-
edge to improve race relations in America and elsewhere. Fortunately, a
number of policy lessons ¬‚ow directly from the research in this book.
The ¬rst and most obvious recommendation is to increase the number
of black elected of¬cials. Expanded minority representation is unlikely to
resolve all of our racial struggles, but if it can foster even slightly better
understanding among groups, it is a goal well worth pursuing.
But how do we improve the chances of African Americans gaining
of¬ce? Since blacks already hold of¬ce in most of the majority black
localities around the country and the creation of more such districts seems
unlikely, the real question is how we can get more white voters to support
black challengers. Information might help: if white Americans tend to
oppose black challengers because they have little information about the
likely consequences of black leadership and fear a reversal of the racial sta-
tus quo, the key to changing the white vote may be to provide information
about the real consequences of black representation “ in essence, to show
that black leadership poses little threat to white well-being. The easiest
way to do this is to make information about past cases of black leader-
ship available to whites who have not seen black leadership in action.
If we can show white voters in Boston, for example, that black con-
trol in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and other cities has created economic pros-
perity rather than economic decline, it may be possible to reduce white
fears and change white votes. Media campaigns could be an important
Changing White Attitudes

Candidates themselves could also offer what are essentially short his-
tory lessons. Those who are moderates may do well to provide informa-
tion about their own histories. On this point, the case of Los Angeles is
particularly interesting. Tom Bradley lost his ¬rst mayoral bid when Sam
Yorty raised white fears by talking about the police force quitting, blacks
moving in, and a host of other terrible things that might happen if a black
man were elected. Bradley won his next mayoral bid and overcame at
least some of these white fears by repeatedly highlighting the details of
his record on race-relevant issues. By continuously mentioning his ¬scally
conservative and racially evenhanded record on the city council and not-
ing his stellar career as a member of the city™s police department, Bradley
seems to have won over a sizeable portion of the white electorate in Los
Angeles. Other black challengers with equally reassuring records in lower
of¬ces might do well to highlight their own achievements. These kinds of
statements are unlikely to be as credible or convincing as actually living
under black leadership, but they could help. There are already signs that
whites who have never lived directly under black leadership are learn-
ing simply by witnessing black leadership from afar.4 The more concrete
information we can provide about black leadership and its consequences,
the less likely whites will be to fear a black takeover, and the more likely
it is that black representation will expand around the country.
This book offers other possible prescriptions for black candidates seek-
ing of¬ce. Past research has provided mixed advice for those black con-
tenders who seek to expand their white support. Some scholars have
maintained that black candidates can garner white support by deracial-
izing their campaigns, but other studies have found that even when they
attempt to do so they are faced with widespread white resistance (Perry
1991; Nichols 1990; C. Hamilton 1977; Wright 1996; Starks 1991).
Unfortunately, few of these studies have controlled for other aspects of
the campaign, and none has assessed outcomes in more than a handful of
elections. As a result, it has been hard to tell if deracialization really works.
The results in Chapter 2 and Chapter 4 indicate that deracialization is in
fact an effective strategy for garnering white support. When black candi-
dates move from a racially explicit campaign to a less racially focused cam-
paign, they are able to attract greater white support. In particular, black
challengers who advocate fewer race-speci¬c policies, who avoid racially
in¬‚ammatory comments, and who take care to address white audiences as

4 The growing willingness of white Americans to vote for black challengers over time sug-
gests that whites in areas without black leadership may be changing their views.
Conclusion: A Tale of Caution and Hope 165

often or more often than they address black audiences tend to win more
white support. Of course, there are dangers associated with this strategy.
Promises of racial evenhandedness could lead to fewer pro-black policy
changes. And it is possible that deracialized campaigns could negatively
affect black turnout and black support.5 In short, black candidates may
have to walk a ¬ne line between trying to garner white support and trying
to serve the black community.
We may also be able to expand black representation by keeping black
incumbents in of¬ce longer. Black incumbents may have a tool “ albeit
a dif¬cult one “ to help them stay in of¬ce. Knowing that the vote of
large segments of the white community is dependent on an incumbent™s
record in of¬ce gives black incumbents a strong incentive to work toward
policies that expand the economy, reduce crime, and generally improve
conditions in the city. Especially, in cities where whites make up a large
share of the voting population, black mayors should now know that if
they can improve local conditions, they have an excellent chance of win-
ning reelection. Of course, ¬guring out how to maintain a robust local
economy and improving one™s overall policy record is no easy task for
black incumbents, who often serve in economically depressed areas.
Finally, the results of my research suggest that we should begin to recon-
sider how we draw political boundaries. Many scholars and activists have
championed the creation of racially mixed districts both because black
candidates have a good chance of winning of¬ce in these districts and
because racially mixed districts may maximize black substantive represen-
tation (Grofman and Handley 1989; Lublin 1997; Cameron, Epstein, and
Halloran 1996). The pattern of responses to black mayoral candidates
outlined in this book suggests, however, that racial balance may create
problems of its own for black candidates. At least at the mayoral level,
the limited information provided by black incumbency and the ongoing
fear that blacks will take control of the local political arena means that
whites tend to remain particularly fearful and highly mobilized in racially
balanced localities. Thus, the creation of more racially balanced districts
could actually lead to an increase in racial tension and racial con¬‚ict. In
addition, as a consequence of this ongoing racial con¬‚ict, black incum-
bents also have a more dif¬cult time getting reelected in these places.
Further investigation beyond the mayoralty is certainly necessary before

5 It is, however, worth noting that for the black challengers examined in this book, black
support was almost universally high and black turnout almost always extraordinary “
regardless of the campaign platform.
Changing White Attitudes

any concrete recommendation is made, but my results suggest that actors
who are interested in redistricting should begin to include two new cri-
teria that they have previously ignored: reelection rates and the level of
racial con¬‚ict associated with different racial demographics. If results at
the mayoral level are repeated for other of¬ces, both of these criteria may
force us to reconsider the creation of more racially balanced districts.

the future of race relations in america
The overarching message of this book is one of caution and hope. We
should not overestimate the effect of black representation. Information
matters, but there are real limits to its effects in the racial arena. The
information that black representation provides can reduce racial con¬‚ict
within the con¬nes of mayoral politics, but it does little to reduce con¬‚ict
in other arenas. Despite years of black mayoral leadership, whites and
blacks in many of the cities examined in this book continue to clash over
issues such as police procedures, public school policy, af¬rmative action,
and development priorities. Moreover, full-scale violence has occurred
with or without the presence of minority leadership. In cases where the
interests of the black and white communities truly are in opposition, there
may be little that black representation can do to ensure that the two groups
do not collide. It is also apparent from the pattern of change under black
leadership that not everyone learns from their experiences with black
incumbents. White Republicans, in particular, are generally less affected
by the presence of black leaders than are white Democrats. Similarly, it is
apparent that even in black incumbent elections race is still important. As
Chapter 2 demonstrated, when white voters face black incumbents, the
size of the black population and the racialization of the black candidate™s
campaign strongly shape the white vote. And in the end, despite learn-
ing, white support for black leadership is far from unanimous. It is rare
for more than a slim majority of white voters to support black leaders.
In part because of this uneven learning and the ongoing effects of race,
African Americans are still greatly underrepresented nationwide. Despite
real progress, black representation is not a cure for all of America™s racial
In this discouraging context, it helps to remember that change can and
does occur. Each new black leader provides additional information to
the white community “ information that tends to reduce white fears and
racial tension. Everyone does not learn, and differences of opinion over
Conclusion: A Tale of Caution and Hope 167

policy may remain intact, but racial divides are often diminished under
black leadership. Black representation represents a small step, perhaps,
but it could be an important one. Over time, changes effected by black
leaders should ¬lter into other arenas of racial politics. The future of race
relations in America may depend in no small part on the presence and
expansion of African American political representation.

Appendix to Chapter 2

black challenger/black incumbent data set

Selection of Cases
I singled out the ¬rst black mayor of every city with a population over
100,000 by searching the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
data set, in which there is a database of all black of¬cials in the country
elected over the past three decades. I then used newspaper reports and
other secondary accounts to single out those cities with biracial (black-
white) electoral contests in the general or run-off election for both the
election in which the black candidate won to become the ¬rst black mayor
of the city and the election immediately following in which the black
candidate ran as an incumbent for the ¬rst time.

White Vote
The dependent variable in each election is the percentage of white vot-
ers who supported the black candidate. Estimates of the white vote
come from a number of different sources. For Chicago, Dallas, Hous-
ton, Los Angeles, and New York, the vote by race and ethnicity was
taken directly from exit polls. If more than one exit poll was available for
a given election, an average of all of the exit polls was used. In several
other cities (Birmingham, Cleveland, Flint, Gary, Memphis, Newark, New
Orleans, and Philadelphia), I used estimates from existing studies that had

A: Appendix to Chapter 2

estimated the vote by race using regression analysis at the precinct or ward
level. In one city, San Francisco, estimates of racial voting preferences came
from ecological inference. The ecological inference procedure is described
by King (1997). If exit polls were unavailable and data were insuf¬-
cient to perform ecological inference (Atlantic City, Baltimore, Durham,
Hartford, Kansas City, Oakland, New Haven, Minneapolis, Rockford,
and Seattle), I used estimates derived from homogeneous precinct anal-
ysis “ more speci¬cally, the complementary percentages method outlined
by Loewen and Grofman (1989: 602“3). This method involves a two-
stage process. First, I arrived at a preliminary estimate of the vote by
race by using the vote in all of the precincts that are predominantly of
one race. In the second stage, I estimated the total vote of the nonpre-
dominant groups for each candidate in each of the key precincts using
these preliminary estimates. I then subtracted out the votes of the non-
predominant groups in each precinct, and the remainder of the vote in
each set of key precincts was used to arrive at a ¬nal estimate of the
vote of the predominant group. Whenever possible, I obtained multiple
estimates of white voting behavior for the same election. Most estimates
vary by only a few percentage points. In each city, the data for the two
elections were compiled in the same manner (that is, I used exit polls
conducted by the same ¬rm or analyzed the same precincts). Data on
the black vote were compiled in the same manner using the same data

Racial Demographics (Percentage Black, Change in White Population)
Data on the racial makeup of each city come from the relevant census
publications (Bureau of the Census 2002, 1994, 1990, 1978). When not
published by the census, data for intercensal years were interpolated.

Racial Focus of the Campaign
To code black campaigns, I focused on three factors: the policy platform,
the presence or absence of racial rhetoric, and the extent to which the can-
didate disproportionately addressed black audiences. I divided campaigns
into three categories: campaigns that had any sort of explicit, pro-black
focus, campaigns that addressed the black community implicitly through
a generally pro-black policy agenda or by actively mobilizing black voters
and speaking before black audiences, and campaigns that never mentioned
black interests and were fairly race neutral. Coding was based primarily
A: Appendix to Chapter 2 173

on local newspaper accounts of the campaign, although secondary sources
were also consulted in a number of cases.

Candidate Quality
Candidate quality is a measure of the political experience of the white
opponent in each election. In line with Krasno and Green (1988) and
other past research, candidate quality was measured on the following
four-point scale: (4) candidates with current or past citywide or statewide
positions; (3) candidates who had been city council members or state rep-
resentatives; (2) candidates who had served in other local elected of¬ces;
(1) candidates who had served in local appointed of¬ces or were other-
wise well-known ¬gures; and (0) candidates with no elected experience.
Also, since others have argued for a simpler measure (Krebs 1998), in
alternate tests I included a dummy variable that simply indicated whether
or not a candidate had previously held an elected of¬ce. Finally, to gauge
the overall impact of incumbency, I included a dummy variable measuring
whether or not the white opponent in the black challenger election was
the incumbent mayor.

Campaign Spending
To assess the role of campaign spending, I collected data on the total
general election campaign spending of both the black candidate and the
major white candidate in each election. I also created a measure of the
campaign spending advantage/de¬cit of the black candidate over the white
candidate. In alternate models, each of these three measures as well as
logged versions of the three measures was tested. Unfortunately, spending
data are available for only about two-thirds of the cases, and this measure
was not included in the ¬nal model. Spending data are taken either directly
from the local election board or from election board ¬gures cited in local

Endorsements (Democratic Party, Local Newspaper)
For each election, I noted whether or not the local Democratic Party
endorsed the black candidate and whether or not the major local daily
newspaper endorsed the black candidate in each contest. Half of the cities
are nonpartisan, but in 25 of 26 cases the black candidate was mostly
closely aligned with the Democratic Party or with Democratic voters.
The support or opposition of the Democratic Party was almost always
seen as an important factor in the progress of the election campaign.
A: Appendix to Chapter 2

If there was no formal endorsement by the Democratic Party, I deter-
mined whether there was active opposition, mixed support, or active sup-
port of the black candidate from leaders of and workers for the local
Democratic Party. Both variables are dummy variables coded (0) endorse
opponent, (0.5) no endorsement/mixed support, and (1) endorse black

Change in Per Capita Income
The basic measure is change in per capita income in the metropolitan
area relative to the median change for the entire metropolitan USA. The
variable measures how well a metropolitan area has done economically
relative to the rest of the country. I used change in per capita income with-
out controlling for national trends. This latter measure was less strongly
related to white voter behavior.

Redistributive Spending
This variable assesses the degree to which each local government shifts
spending away from developmental spending (highways, airports, and
streets) and onto redistributional functions (social services, housing, and
education) over the course of the black incumbent™s ¬rst term. It is mea-
sured as a percentage of total government expenditures. Data on local gov-
ernment spending are from the annual local government ¬nances report
of the census.

Voter Turnout
The basic measure of turnout is the percentage of registered voters
who voted in a given election. I use overall turnout rather than white
turnout because turnout by race is not available for all of the cities.
Figures for voter turnout come primarily from the Race and Urban
Politics dataset (see Lublin and Tate 1995). In other cases, registration
and turnout data were gathered from the local registrar or local news-
paper reports. Supplementary data on turnout by race/ethnicity were gath-
ered largely from secondary accounts and newspaper reports. Aggregate
white, black, and overall turnout are extremely highly correlated in these
elections (r > 0.9).

Unless otherwise indicated, most of the data points for most of the mea-
sures were obtained from local newspaper accounts of the campaigns
in each city. Missing data were ¬lled in using secondary accounts by
A: Appendix to Chapter 2 175

table a.1 A List of Black Challenger/Incumbent Elections

Whites Whites
Voting Voting
City Candidate Year 1 Black (%) Year 2 Black (%)
Atlantic City James Usry 1984 15 1986 11
Baltimore Kurt Schmoke 1987 42 1991 35
Birmingham Richard Arrington 1979 19 1983 20
Charlotte Harvey Gantt 1983 36 1985 46
Chicago Harold Washington 1983 20 1987 15
Cleveland Carl Stokes 1967 19 1969 23
Dallas Ron Kirk 1995 42 1999 60
Durham Chester Jenkins 1989 31 1991 21
Flint James Sharp 1983 18 1987 10
Gary Richard Hatcher 1967 15 1971 22
Hartford Thirman Milner 1981 37 1983 “
Houston Lee Brown 1997 26 1999 49
Kansas City Emanuel Cleaver 1991 38 1995 46
Los Angeles Tom Bradley 1973 44 1977 53
Memphis Willie Herenton 1991 3 1995 39
Minneapolis Sharon Belton 1993 46 1997 47
New Haven John Daniels 1989 52 1991 36
New Orleans Ernest Morial 1978 20 1982 15
New York David Dinkins 1989 28 1993 22
Newark Kenneth Gibson 1970 10 1974 23
Oakland Lionel Wilson 1977 23 1981 62
Philadelphia Wilson Goode 1983 23 1987 20
Rockford Charles Box 1989 59 1993 66
San Francisco Willie Brown 1995 50 1999 48
Seattle Norm Rice 1989 54 1993 63
Trenton Douglas Palmer 1990 12 1994 48

academic scholars or by directly contacting city, county, and state of¬ces
(primarily local elections boards).

mayoral incumbent elections data set
This data set includes the outcome of every reelection bid for every black
mayor in cities with over 50,000 residents. Black incumbents were iden-
ti¬ed through the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which
has maintained a database of all black elected of¬cials in the country for
the past three decades. In addition, data on the race of the opponents
and the racial demographics of the city were obtained from the Mayoral
A: Appendix to Chapter 2

table a.2 Descriptive Statistics for Black Challenger/Black
Incumbent Elections

Variable Mean Std. Dev. Min. Max.
Percent White Vote for Black Challenger 29.7 15.6 2.6 58.6
Percent White Vote for Black Incumbent 35.8 17.7 10.4 66.5
Change in White Vote for Black Candidate 6.4 14.7 39
Newspaper Endorsement 1 0.65 0.44 0 1
Newspaper Endorsement 2 0.92 0.18 0.5 1
Party Endorsement 1 0.73 0.41 0 1
Party Endorsement 2 0.85 0.27 0 1
Percent Black 36.2 15.2 6 58
Change in Redistributive Spending 0.88 3.5 9.4
Incumbent 1 0.27 0.45 0 1
Quality White Opponent 1 2.5 1.4 0 4
Quality Black Challenger 2.4 1.2 0 4
Quality White Opponent 2 2.5 1.6 0 4
Racial Focus of Black Candidates 0.30 0.32 0 1
Campaign 1
Racial Focus of Black Candidates 0.17 0.28 0 1
Campaign 2
Percent Turnout 1 55.2 15.9 20 82
Percent Turnout 2 48.2 18.8 5 75.5
’1.9 ’6
Change in White Population 1.9 3
Change in Per Capita Income 1.6 5.2 20

Careers Dataset for the period 1970“1985. For a description of the data
set, see Wolman, Strate, and Melchior (1996) and Wolman, Page, and
Reavely (1990). For more recent elections, data on opponents and elec-
tion results come primarily from local newspaper reports and in some
cases from secondary accounts of the elections.

Appendix to Chapter 3

In order to perform the two-stage least-squares analysis, I ¬rst devised a
treatment or ¬rst-stage equation modeling the presence of a black mayor
in the city. The ¬rst stage included ¬ve exogenous variables that served as
instrumental variables (per capita black income in the city, the percentage
of black adults with a college degree in the city, the percentage of the
city that voted Republican in the 1988 presidential election, the median
income in the city in 1989, and the percentage of adults in the city with a
college degree in 1990). These instrumental variables ¬t the criteria pro-
posed by Bartels (1991): First, according to Karnig and Welch (1980),
they are among the strongest predictors of black mayoral presence (aside
from the proportion of a city™s population that is black, which is clearly
related to white attitudes). In the present data set, they explain an addi-
tional 4 percent of the variation in the ¬rst stage. Second, they are, at
least to a certain extent, exogenous. None of the instrumental variables
is highly correlated with individual white racial attitudes in the survey (r
< 0.15), and omitted variable Hausman tests suggest that the instrumen-
tal variables are, with one exception, not signi¬cantly related to white
racial attitudes in the second-stage equation. It is also important to note
that there is little theoretical reason to expect that the ¬ve instrumen-
tal variables have a direct impact on white racial attitudes. Given that
I control for income, education, partisanship, and political ideology at
the individual level, it seems unlikely that citywide measures of income,
education, and partisanship would have any additional effect on white
racial attitudes. The results of the overall two-stage least-squares analysis
are presented in Table B.1. The ¬rst stage is presented in Table B.2.

B: Appendix to Chapter 3

table b.1 The Impact of Black Representation on White Racial Attitudes
(Two-Stage Least-Squares Regression)

Views of Black
Leadership Views of the Black Community
Blacks Pushing Anti-black Racial
Too Hard Affect Resentment
’0.15 (0.06)——— ’0.06 (0.02)——— ’0.09 (0.04)——
Black Mayor (1 = yes
0 = no)
’0.20 (0.02)——— ’0.04 (0.01)——— ’0.25 (0.02)———
’0.02 (0.03) ’0.00 (0.01)
Income 0.02 (0.02)
0.15 (0.03)——— 0.06 (0.01)——— ’0.00 (0.03)
0.03 (0.01)—— 0.03 (0.01)——
Gender (1 = male) 0.00 (0.00)
’0.28 (0.03)——— ’0.05 (0.01)——— ’0.23 (0.03)———
Ideology (1 = liberal)
’0.09 (0.02)——— ’0.07 (0.02)———
Party ID (1 = Democrat) ’0.00 (0.01)
’0.08 (0.04)—— ’0.01 (0.01) ’0.01 (0.03)
Employment Status
(1 = unemployed)
’0.01 (0.02) ’0.00 (0.01)
Years Living in City 0.02 (0.02)
0.26 (0.08)——— 0.09 (0.02)——— 0.22 (0.06)———
Percent Black in City
’0.02 (0.01)—— ’0.06 (0.02)———
Level of Urbanism 0.01 (0.02)
0.03 (0.02)— 0.02 (0.00)———
South (1 = yes) 0.02 (0.01)
1986 0.01 (0.02)
0.02 (0.01)——— 0.05 (0.02)———
’0.02 (0.02)
’0.00 (0.00) ’0.02 (0.02)
0.02 (0.01)—
’0.03 (0.02) ’0.00 (0.01)
0.04 (0.01)——
First Year of Black 0.06 (0.05) 0.04 (0.04)
Mayoralty (1 = yes)
0.79 (0.04)——— 0.42 (0.01)——— ’0.17 (0.03)———
Adj. R2 0.14 0.06 0.22
N 2181 2280 1911
Note: Figures are unstandardized coef¬cients with their standard errors.
—— p < 0.01
— p < 0.05

coding and descriptive statistics

Independent Variables
1. Education. Coded as a 6-category variable: 0 = completed less
than 9th grade; 0.2 = 9“12 years; 0.4 = high school diploma;
0.6 = 1“3 years college; 0.8 = bachelor™s degree; 1.0 = graduate
degree. Mean = 0.61 Std Dev = 0.31.
2. Age. Age in years normalized to 0“1. Mean = 0.34. Std Dev = 22.0
B: Appendix to Chapter 3 179

table b.2 Predicting a Black Mayoralty: The First Stage of the Two-Stage
Least-Squares Regression

Black Mayor
1 = Black Mayor, 0 = No Black Mayor
Education 0.02 (0.03)
Income 0.01 (0.03)
’0.01 (0.02)
Gender (1 = male) 0.01 (0.01)
Ideology (1 = liberal) 0.04 (0.03)
Party ID (1 = Democrat) ’0.03 (0.02)
Employment Status (1 = unemployed) 0.01 (0.03)
’0.00 (0.02)
Years Living in City
1.4 (0.04)———
Percent Black in City
’0.01 (0.03)
Level of Urbanism
’0.06 (0.02)———
South (1 = yes)
0.06 (0.01)———
Per Capita Black Income in the City1
’0.01 (0.01)
Percent of Blacks with College Degree1
’0.07 (0.02)———
Median Income in City1
0.04 (0.01)———
Percent with College Degree in City1
’0.22 (0.08)———
Republican Vote in 1988 in City1
’0.00 (0.00)
N 4353
Adj R2 0.4
Note: Figures in parentheses are standard errors.
1 Exogenous variables not included in the second stage.
——— p < 0.01
—— p < 0.05
— p < 0.10

3. Gender. Coded as 1 = male. Mean = 0.46. Std Dev = 0.50.
4. Employment. Coded as 1 = unemployed, 0 otherwise. Mean =
0.04. Std Dev = 19.
5. Ideology. Coded as a 7-category variable: 0 = very conservative;
0.17 = conservative; 0.33 = somewhat conservative; 0.50 = mod-
erate; 0.67 = somewhat liberal; 0.83 = liberal; 1 = very liberal.
Mean = 0.46. Std Dev = 0.22.
6. Partisan identi¬cation. Coded as a 7-category variable: 0 =
strong Republican; 0.17 = weak Republican; 0.33 = inde-
pendent/Republican; 0.50 = independent; 0.67 = indepen-
dent/Democrat; 0.83 = weak Democrat; 1.0 = strong Democrat.
Mean = 0.51. Std Dev = 0.34.
B: Appendix to Chapter 3

table b.3 The Impact of Black Representation on White Racial Attitudes “
Con¬ned to Cities with Black Mayors at Some Point in Their History

Views of Black
Leadership Views of the Black Community
Blacks Pushing Racial
Too Hard Anti-black Affect Resentment
’0.01(0.00)— ’.05 (0.02)———
Black Mayor (1 = yes ’0.11 (0.15)
0 = no)
’1.5 (0.23)——— ’0.07 (0.01)——— ’0.24 (0.03)———
’0.01 (0.01)
Income 0.08 (0.25) 0.02 (0.03)
1.6 (0.32)——— 0.03 (0.01)—— ’0.00 (0.04)
0.21 (0.12)—
Gender (1 = male) ’0.00 (0.01) 0.01 (0.01)
’2.2 (0.32)——— ’0.06 (0.01)——— ’0.25 (0.04)———
Ideology (1 = liberal)
’0.59 (0.21)——— ’0.06 (0.02)——
Party ID (1 = Democrat) ’0.01 (0.01)
’0.37 (0.36) ’0.00 (0.01) ’0.01 (0.04)
Employment Status
(1 = unemployed)
0.05 (0.02)—
Years Living in City 0.05 (0.21) 0.01 (0.01)
0.71 (0.40)— 0.04 (0.02)—
Percent Black in City 0.00 (0.00)
’0.08 (0.03)———
Level of Urbanism 0.06 (0.26) 0.01 (0.01)
0.34 (0.16)——
South (1 = yes) 0.01 (0.01) 0.02 (0.02)
’0.30 (0.22) ’0.00 (0.01)
1986 0.01 (0.02)
’0.59 (0.21)——— 0.02 (0.01)——— 0.05 (0.02)———
’0.60 (0.25)——— ’0.01 (0.02)
’0.87 (0.20)——— ’0.02 (0.001)———
’0.08 (0.20)
First Year of Black 0.00 (0.01) 0.01 (0.02)
Mayoralty (1 = yes)
Constant 0.41(0.01) 13 (0.04)
’4.2 (0.37)
Intercept 1
’0.79 (0.34)——
Intercept 2
Adj. R2 /pseudo R2 0.19 0.09 0.24
χ2 250
N 1177 1196 1039
Note: Figures are unstandardized coef¬cients with their standard errors.
—— p < 0.01
— p < 0.05

7. Years living in city. Years of residence in municipality normalized.
Mean = 0.29. Std Dev = 0.31.
8. Percent black in city. Percent black normalized. Mean = 0.26. Std
Dev = 0.19.
B: Appendix to Chapter 3 181

9. South. Coded as 1 = south; 0 = otherwise. Mean = 0.26. Std
Dev = 0.44.
10. Urbanism Coded. as 3-category variable: 0 = central city of 50
largest metropolitan areas; 0.50 = central city of other metro
areas; 1.0 = suburb of metropolitan area. Mean = 0.61. Std
Dev = 0.28.

Appendix to Chapter 5

case study selection
My primary goal in including case studies of individual cities was to illus-
trate the process of racial learning and to demonstrate as clearly as pos-
sible how information from the actions of incumbent black mayors and
changes in local conditions under black mayors did or did not translate
into changes in white attitudes and behavior. As such, I wanted to include
at least one city where there was a marked change in white views and votes
over time and one city where little change in white political behavior was
evident. By looking at both cities, I could answer two critical questions.
First, what is it about experiencing black mayoral leadership that leads
to greater acceptance of black representation? And, second, why, in some
cases, do whites continue to resist black leadership?
Choosing the speci¬c cities was then fairly straightforward. Obviously,
I had to choose cities that had experienced a transition from a white to a
black mayoralty. Across the United States, there are only thirty-three cities
with a population over 100,000 that have experienced a transition from an
elected white mayor to an elected black mayor. In order to gauge changes
in white support for black leadership, it was also critical to have a series
of biracial elections. Thus, I limited the choice set to the 26 cities where a
black challenger won against a white opponent and then ran for reelection
against a white challenger. Choosing between these cities depended more
than anything else on data considerations. Practically speaking, to follow
the process of learning and to assess the roles of racial views and the
incumbent™s performance over time, I needed a fairly extensive empirical
record of white attitudes and white political choices. Very few cities in

C: Appendix to Chapter 5 183

America have regular or even semi-regular polls that include questions
about local leaders, racial concerns, and local conditions.
Only three cities, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, ¬t these data
considerations well.1 Fortunately, these three cities included one city, Los
Angeles, where there was a clear, positive change in white behavior over
the course of black leadership and two other cities, Chicago and New
York, where there was little change in white behavior under the black
mayoralty. Given that the empirical record in Chicago is slightly more
extensive than the record in New York and that Chicago is probably the
most notorious case of white opposition to black leadership, I chose to
focus on Chicago rather than New York. Much of the evidence that I could
gather on New York is, however, highlighted in Chapter 4 or included at
various points throughout the book. Happily, Los Angeles and Chicago
also represented two cities with very different racial demographics. Thus,
using these two cities, I could compare the dynamics of a minority white
city with the patterns found in a racially balanced city.2 The fact that Los
Angeles and Chicago are two of the largest cities in the nation meant that
they ¬t one more criteria: people care about what goes on in these cities.
Both are well-known cities that spark greater than average interest.
Given potentially important regional differences in white reactions to
black leadership, I also considered adding a case study from the South.
There were, however, two main barriers to including a Southern case.
The ¬rst is ¬nding cities with biracial elections. In most of the cities in
the South that have elected black mayors, mayoral elections after the ¬rst
black mayoral victory generally pit a black incumbent against a second
black candidate. This makes it dif¬cult to assess changes in white support
for black representation over time. The second problem, as already noted,
is ¬nding local polls that include questions about racial views and mayoral
politics over time. Data of this kind are by no means necessary to do a case
study, but they are one of the few ways to obtain a fairly de¬nitive test of
how the role of race has changed over time in a particular city. These two
issues left me with four ¬‚awed possibilities. Houston and Dallas have
some limited polling data but have only recently elected black mayors.

1 Other cities have a range of relevant data “ not the least of which are voting records. Data
points from the cities not included in the case studies are extremely helpful and whenever
possible are used to illustrate different points throughout the book.
2 I also considered including a case study of a minority white city. Unfortunately, no minority
white city ¬t my criteria. Most of these cities did not have a biracial black incumbent elec-
tion and of those that did none had a suf¬cient empirical record with enough survey data
measuring white racial concerns and voting preferences to warrant an extended case study.
C: Appendix to Chapter 5

There is not much time over which to assess changes in white attitudes
and voting behavior in these two cities.3 Birmingham and Memphis have
a longer history of black mayoral representation but much less in the way
of polling data and certainly nothing like the repeated exit polls that are
available in Los Angeles and Chicago. In the end, it was clear that any
southern case study would be too thin. In lieu of an extended case study
from a Southern city, I included as much of the relevant data from these
Southern cities as possible in different chapters of the book. These data
suggest that the pattern in Southern cities is not appreciably different from
the pattern in non-Southern cities.

1969 survey: coding and descriptive statistics
The National Opinion Research Center conducted face-to-face interviews
of 198 adults from the 1st and 12th council districts in the city of Los
Angeles. The two districts cover the northern half of the San Fernando
Valley. These districts were almost exclusively white. Within the districts,
neighborhoods were chosen with probabilities proportional to their pop-
ulation. At the time, the valley was the largest “bedroom suburb” of the
city, with a population of nearly 1 million. It tends to be more conservative
than Los Angeles as a whole, and thus the results of the survey cannot be
taken as representative of the city as a whole (see Kinder and Sears 1981
for more details on the survey instrument).

Dependent Variable
1. “Suppose the election were today between Mayor Yorty and
Thomas Bradley. Which one would you vote for?” Coded as 1 =
intend to vote for Bradley; 0 =Yorty. Mean = 0.45. Std Dev = 0.49.

Independent Variables
Racial Concerns
1. Bradley will favor black interests. “If elected Mayor Thomas
Bradley would show more favoritism to his supporters than most
other mayors.” Coded as 1 = strongly disagree; 2 = somewhat dis-
agree; 3 = don™t know; 4 = somewhat agree; 5 = strongly agree.
Mean = 3.3. Std Dev = 0.97.

3 In addition, Stein, Ulbig, and Post (2005) have already provided a detailed analysis of
changes in white voting patterns using the data available in Houston.
C: Appendix to Chapter 5 185

2. Concerned about black gains. Scale made up of responses to the
following three statements: (A) “Negroes shouldn™t push themselves
where they™re not wanted.” (B) “Over the past few years, Negroes
have got more than they deserve.” (C) “Hard working people like
me have not done as well as Negroes over the past few years.”
Reliability of scale: alpha = 0.60. Mean = 0.59. Std Dev = 0.18.

Incumbent™s Record
1. Satis¬ed with city services. “How satis¬ed are you with some of the
public services the city is supposed to provide for your neighbor-
hood?” Scale made up of responses to “Public Schools and Neigh-
borhoods?”, “Parks and playgrounds?”, Garbage Collection?”,
and “Police Protection.” Reliability of scale: alpha = 0.65. Mean =
0.38. Std Dev = 0.28.
2. Satis¬ed with economic gains. “In general, would you say that you
are very satis¬ed, somewhat satis¬ed, somewhat dissatis¬ed, or very
dissatis¬ed with your economic gains over the past ¬ve years?”
Mean = 2.3. Std Dev = .92.

Political Ideology
1. Liberal/conservative ideology. Self-placement, coded as 1 = liberal;
2 = conservative. Mean = 1.5. Std Dev = 0.50.
2. Party identi¬cation. Coded as 1 = strong Democrat; 2 = moderate
Democrat; 3 = Independent/other party; 4 = weak Republican; 5 =
strong Republican. Mean = 3.4. Std Dev = 1.3.

White Racial Prejudice
1. Stereotypes. Scale made up of responses to the following two
statements: (A) “Negroes are just as intelligent as whites.” (B) “If
a Negro family with about the same income and education as you
moved next door, would you mind it?” (C) “How strongly would
you object if a member of your family wanted to bring a Negro
friend home to dinner?” Reliability of scale: alpha = 0.60. Mean =
2.2. Std Dev = 0.85.

1. Age. Coded as 1 = 18“29; 2 = 30“44; 3 = 45“64; 4 = 65 and over.
Mean = 2.6. Std Dev = 1.4.
2. Education. Coded as 1 = seventh grade or less; 2 = grade school
graduate; 3 = some high school; 4 = high school graduate;
C: Appendix to Chapter 5

5 = technical school; 6 = junior college; 7 = some college; 8 =
college graduate; 9 = more than college. Mean = 5.2. Std Dev =
3. Income. Coded as 1 = less than $5,000; 2 = $5“7,500; 3 = $7.5“
9,999; 4 = $10“14,999; 5 = $15“19,999; 6 = $20“24,999; 7 =
$25“49,999; 8 = over $50,000. Mean = 3.5. Std Dev = 1.7.
4. Sex. Coded as 0 = male; 1 = female. Mean = 0.52. Std Dev = 0.59.

1980 survey: question wording, coding,
and descriptive statistics
The Los Angeles Times conducted 1,295 telephone interviews of adult
residents of the city of Los Angeles. Of the total respondents 482 were

Dependent Variable
Bradley Approval
1. “What is your impression of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley?”
Coded as 1 = very unfavorable; 2 = somewhat unfavorable; 3 =
somewhat favorable; 4 = very favorable. Mean = 2.9. Std Dev =

Independent Variables
Racial Concerns
1. Concerned about black gains. Scale made up of three questions:
(A) “Do you think the government has paid too much attention to
blacks and Mexican-Americans and other minority groups? (B) Do
blacks have “too much economic power?” (C) Do blacks have “too
much political power?” Reliability of scale: alpha = 0.65 Mean =
1.3. Std Dev = 0.55.

White Racial Prejudice
1. Prejudice Scale. Scale made up of responses to the following two
statements: (A) “Negroes are just as intelligent as whites.” (B) “If
a Negro familiy with about the same income and education as you
moved next door, would you mind it?” (C) “How strongly would
you object if a member of your family wanted to bring a Negro
friend home to dinner?” Reliability of scale: alpha = 0.60. Mean =
7.6. Std Dev = 1.4.
C: Appendix to Chapter 5 187

table c.1 The Vote in the 1969 Election
(Logistic Regression)

Vote for Bradley
Racial Concerns
’0.83 (0.19)——
Bradley Will Favor Black Interests
’2.5 (1.2)——
Concerned about Black Gains
’0.01 (0.22)
White Racial Prejudice
Incumbent™s Record
’0.75 (0.71)
Satis¬ed with City Services
’0.29 (0.21)
Satis¬ed with Economic Gains
Political Ideology
’0.69 (0.39)
Liberal/Conservative Ideology
’0.39 (0.14)——
Party Identi¬cation
’0.17 (0.14)
Education 0.05 (0.11)
Income 0.08 (0.14)
Female 0.16 (0.36)
’7.6 (1.7)——
Pseudo R2 0.26
N 188
Note: — p < 0.05
—— p < 0.01

Incumbent™s Record
1. Satis¬ed with city. “How do you feel things are going in Los Angeles
these days?” Coded as 1 = very badly; 2 = pretty badly; 3 = pretty
well; 4 = very well. Mean = 2.5. Std Dev = 0.77.
2. Improved race relations. “Do you think that relations between
black people and white people have gotten better since the Watts
riot in 1965? ”Coded as 1 = gotten worse; 2 = no change 3 =
gotten better; Mean = 2.3. Std Dev = 0.56.

Political Ideology
1. Liberal/conservative ideology. Self-placement, coded as 1 = Strong
Liberal; 2 = Moderate Liberal; 3 = Middle of the Road; 4 = Mod-
erate Conservative; 5 = Strong Conservative. Mean = 2.9. Std
Dev = 1.1.
2. Party identi¬cation. Coded as 1 = registered Democrat; 2 = regis-
tered in other party/no party; 3 = registered Republican. Mean =
1.8. Std Dev = 0.92.
C: Appendix to Chapter 5

table c.2 Comparing Bradley Approval in 1969 and 1980

Support for Bradley
As a Challengera As an Incumbentb
Racial Concerns
’2.9 (1.1)——
Concerned about Black Gains 0.51 (0.32)
Incumbent™s Record
’0.57 (0.12)——
’0.57 (0.64)
Satis¬ed with City Services
Racial Prejudice
’0.07 (0.22)
White Racial Prejudice 0.06 (0.07)
Political Ideology
’0.25 (0.09)——
’0.96 (0.37)
Liberal/Conservative Ideology
’0.30 (0.13)—— ’0.02 (0.10)
Party Identi¬cation
’0.13 (0.13) ’0.13 (0.09)
Education 0.03 (0.10) 0.07 (0.07)
’0.02 (0.13)
Income 0.07 (0.13)
0.44 (0.17)—
Female 0.12 (0.34)
’4.2 (1.3)——
Constant “
’2.4 (0.93)
Cut 1 “
’1.6 (0.92)
Cut 2 “
Cut 3 “ 0.50 (0.91)
Pseudo R2 0.18 0.13
46—— 54——
N 190 194
Note: — p < 0.05
—— p < 0.01
a Logistic regression.
b Ordered probit.

1. Age. Coded as 1 = 18“29; 2 = 30“44; 3 = 45“64; 4 = 65 and over.
Mean = 2.2. Std Dev = 1.0.
2. Education. Coded as 1 = grade school or less; 2 = grade school
graduate; 3 = some high school; 4 = high school graduate; 5 =
some college; 6 = college graduate; 7 = more than college.
Mean = 4.9. Std Dev = 1.3.
3. Income. “Yearly income of all the members of your family living at
home.” Coded as 1 = less than $10,00; 2 = in-between; 3 = more
than $25,000. Mean = 2.3. Std Dev = 0.71.
4. Sex. Coded as 0 = male; 1 = female. Mean = 0.57. Std Dev = 0.49.

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