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Seeing Double: Race, Gender, and Coverage of Minority Women's Campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Orly Siow



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Cambridge University Press, 2016.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


At the U.S. 2012 general election, six minority women were newly elected to the House of Representatives, a net increase from 21 to 23, and a rise from 23% to 27% as a proportion of all women in the House (CAWP 2010, 2012). Among this group was Iraq War veteran Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI 2nd District), the first Hindu American to serve in Congress. Despite generally positive coverage, her local paper also framed Gabbard's identity as an “underdog … on the margins of popular respectability.” In Utah, Mormon Mia Love ran the first viable black female Republican campaign, securing 47% of the vote in the state's overwhelmingly white 4th District. Love was frequently framed positively as a “historic candidate” and was invited to speak at the GOP convention that year. Despite this, her self-portrayal as a product of the American dream—linking her second-generation Haitian identity to her partisan politics—drew sharp criticism. Local campaign coverage even interrogated the legality of her family history with headlines such as “Love's Immigrant Story may be True, but Some Questions Linger.”

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ward O

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Politics & Gender

Year: 2016

Volume: 12

Issue: 2

Pages: 317-343

Print publication date: 01/06/2016

Online publication date: 03/05/2016

Acceptance date: 15/02/2016

Date deposited: 07/08/2019

ISSN (print): 1743-923X

ISSN (electronic): 1743-9248

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1743923X16000222


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