Minority candidates, media framing, and racial cues in the 2004 election

Stephen M. Caliendo, Charlton D. McIlwain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rooted in political communication models of framing and priming and a rather unique theory of appeals to racial authenticity, the authors examine minority candidates in both majority-minority and majority-white districts during the 2004 election cycle.They explore and analyze potential framing and priming effects based on variations of candidates' media coverage in a number of campaign scenarios. Results suggest that racial references are commonplace in biracial election contests (and are more likely to occur there than in all-white contests). Furthermore, newspaper coverage of biracial and all-black elections is more likely to contain a racial frame than stories about all-white races. The authors conclude with a discussion of the normative implications of these findings, as well as suggestions for further examination and testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-69
Number of pages25
JournalHarvard International Journal of Press/Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • African-American/Latino candidates
  • Biracial elections
  • Media framing and priming
  • Racial cues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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