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Diverse candidates and the midterms: Do ethnicity and gender factor into the way people vote?

MODESTO, CA - OCTOBER 24:  A Josh Harder sign stands next to a fruit stand on October 24, 2018 in Modesto, California. Democratic congressional candidate Josh Harder (CA-10) is competing for the seat against Republican incumbent Rep. Jeff Denham. Democrats are targeting seven congressional seats in California, currently held by Republicans, where Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election. These districts have become the centerpiece of their strategy to flip the House and represent nearly one-third of the 23 seats needed for the Democrats to take control of the chamber in the November 6 midterm elections.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Candidate signs stand next to a fruit stand on October 24, 2018 in Modesto, California.

These midterm elections we are seeing the most diverse group of candidates to ever run for public office.

These midterm elections we are seeing the most diverse group of candidates to ever run for public office.

This diversity can be seen nationwide and across the board, from positions in the House and Senate to city council and school boards. These groups include Asian Americans, Latinos, Muslims, African Americans, among others. Vermont, for instance, could appoint its first openly transgender governor. While Georgia could see its first black woman governor.

Some voters do their homework, read up on candidates and base their decision on policy preference. The assumption is that informed voters are likely to vote for politicians that represent their viewpoint. But does policy and ideology always the major factor that contribute to one's voting decision? We examine how ethnicity and gender factor into the way people vote. We look into how some groups tend to vote for those who share their ethnicity. And does it differ from one generation to the other.

Guest:

Fernando Guerra, professor of Political Science and Chicana/o Latina/o Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University

Fernando Guerra is a member of the KPCC Board of Trustees. 

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