Assistant Professor in the Political Science department at Wellesley College and an affiliate of the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy at Brown University. My research focuses on race and ethnicity politics, public opinion, campaigns and elections, and experimental and survey methodology. My articles have been published or are forthcoming in Political Research Quarterly, Politics Groups and Identities, and Journal of Education and Social Policy. My book project, Changing Temptations: The Evolution of Racialized Messaging in the Obama and Trump Eras, explains the causes and consequences of racial appeals in U.S. politics. I propose a theory of differential norms, in which different histories of racial politics have generated different norms of acceptable rhetoric targeting blacks, Latinos, and Muslims. Using original survey experiments, I show that the effectiveness of explicit racial appeals varies systematically by the group being targeted: explicit appeals to racial prejudice increase support for Republican candidates who target Latinos and Muslims but not blacks, whereas explicit appeals to racial equality increase support for Democratic candidates. These results suggest greater attention to target groups is essential for understanding how racial appeals work and help to explain the contours of racial priming in contemporary American political discourse.
“Once Obama was elected and in the office is when you see the big changes,” said Maneesh Arora, a political scientist at Wellesley College who researches racial appeals in U.S. politics. “Obama became racialized and the Democratic Party became the nonwhite party.”
“They're trying to throw out ballots in Texas, they're rolling back early voting, closing polling places, just making it that much more difficult particularly during a pandemic, to safely cast a ballot. And so, something that we’ll have to really be focused on, after the election is over, and hopefully whether at the national level or at the state level, trying to fill in some of those gaps.”
“No racial group should be referred to as a monolith and there’s always going to be a diversity of opinions and a diversity of voting decisions among any different racial group.”