The Importance Of Ethnic Identity, Incumbency Advantage, And Professional Credentials

2776 Words Dec 5th, 2014 12 Pages
Descriptive Representation: Factors that Contribute to the Underrepresentation of Hispanic-Americans in The U.S. House of Representatives According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population in the United States is fifty-four million. The 113th Congress, has twenty-eight Hispanic U.S. Representatives and only three Hispanic Senators (Green 2014, Class). The stereotypical portrait of a member of congress is a white, middle-age man, former attorney who was raised in a middle to upper class family. Earlier in the semester, as a class we acknowledged the fact that minorities, specifically African-Americans and Hispanics are still underrepresented in Congress. It takes time for members of these minority groups to get elected into office, especially Congress. African-Americans and Latinos have increased their congressional representation somewhat in the past two decades (Ginsberg 2013, 272). Compelling evidence suggests that particular socio-demographic groups are best able to represent the policy preferences of that group (Lawless 2012, 8). This paper will explore the factors of ethnic identity, incumbency advantage, and professional credentials that affect why it takes longer for majority Hispanic districts to elect Hispanic representatives to the U.S. Congress. For the purposes of this paper, I chose to research Latinos in the U.S. House of Representatives because historically there have been more Latinos elected to the House. Also House members are up for election…
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