Carnes: Congress Doesn't Have to be a Millionaires' Club
In a guest post in the Washington Post/Monkey Cage, Nicholas Carnes argues that, based on his research and that of other former and current CSDP affiliates, the obstacles keeping working-class Americans out of office are far from insurmountable: "If we want government that’s truly for the people, we’re going to work toward government that’s truly by the people. But that may be as simple as giving working-class candidates a helping hand." Carnes, Assistant Professor at Duke University and former CSDP-affiliated graduate student (PhD Politics and Social Policy '11), also cites Meredith Sadin's groundbreaking series of studies. Sadin, PhD Candidate and CSDP graduate student affiliate, finds that people randomly assigned to evaluate a hypothetical candidate from the working class are just as likely to say they would vote for him as people randomly assigned to evaluate an otherwise identical hypothetical candidate from an elite professional background.
Earlier work with Melody Crowder-Meyer (PhD Politics '10 and former CSDP graduate student affiliate), Assistant Professor at University of the South, is also cited -- concluding that "Working-class Americans aren’t underrepresented in public office because voters send them packing—they’re underrepresented because they aren’t on our ballots in the first place."