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date: 19 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews four explanations for why participation and urban politics scholars have largely ignored local elections and outlines the themes of volume and variation in describing the landscape of local government and local elections. The landscape of local governments and elections in the US is described. Research on local elections and local electoral behavior can be divided into two main types: macro-level studies that treat the local jurisdiction as the unit of analysis, and micro-level studies that treat the individual as the unit of analysis. At present, the literature does a reasonable job explaining post hoc which groups supported minority candidates in specific elections, but is very far from predicting when and where minority candidates succeed, let alone when and where they will emerge as serious challengers.

Keywords: local elections, American politics, local government, electoral behavior, participation politics, urban politics

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