2014 sees a record number of African Americans running for Congress
A record number of African Americans are running for federal office this year, and unfortunately their advances have been met with increased racial polarization in politics, especially in the Deep South.
There are 82 black nominees in the two major political parties running in 2014, according to an analysis by David Bositis. The number surpasses the 2012 record of 72 candidates.
Of the 82 candidates running, 64 are Democrats and 18 are Republicans, and all but three are seeking election to the U.S. House.
Two black Democrats, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Joyce Dickerson of South Carolina, and one black Republican, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, are on the ballot for U.S. Senate seats.
Among the candidates are four African-American women who are likely to be new additions to the U.S. House: Democrats Brenda Lawrence of Michigan, Alma Adams of North Carolina, and Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, as well as Republican Mia Love of Utah, who would be the first black Republican woman elected to Congress.
Currently there are 44 African Americans serving in Congress, and their ranks are forecast to grow in November, which means next January will bring in a Congress with the highest number of blacks serving in U.S. history.
The House Democratic Caucus experienced the most notable form of growth. After the 2012 elections, House Democrats became the first congressional faction in U.S. history to be more than half women and people of color.
White men continue to dominate the Republican Party and they make up the majority of Democrats in the Senate.
Analysts say the massive exodus of whites from the Democratic Party, especially in the Deep South, has fueled more racial polarization than harmony.
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