Women, Novices, and Veterans: Diversity in the 2018 Democratic House Primaries
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A high number of novice candidates received the Democratic nomination for the US House in 2018. However, a deeper look reveals even more novice candidates ran during the primary phase of the election. This chapter explores the backgrounds and experiences of these candidates with three oft-discussed trends in 2018: the wave of women, novices, and veterans running for the US House. A number of interesting findings emerged. Favorable electoral factors played little role in motivating candidate entry, suggesting that 2018’s “high opportunity” environment was influential across all districts, regardless of the local electoral environment. Further findings indicate that traditional regional patterns in candidate entry did not hold in 2018, providing evidence for nationalized congressional elections. Finally, candidates who seemed to perform best in these primary contests were women and those with prior electoral experience, suggesting the “quality” effect.
KeywordsNovice candidates Primary 2018 Women Veterans Democratic Party
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