Inclusv Releases Democratic Presidential Campaign Staff Diversity Estimate

An analysis of the Democratic Presidential staff rosters as reported in FEC filings on July 1st, 2015 show estimates of diverse hires amongst top Presidential campaigns in their initial hiring wave.

INCLUSV, a diversity hiring initiative & project of PowerPAC+, the group who did the Fannie Lou Hamer report audit, recently carried out this analysis by examining the salary and payroll expenditures listed on each candidate's FEC report, matching these expenditures to available information in the voter file, and performing additional quality control analysis based on Inclusv’s vast national network.  This effort aims to raise awareness and call for campaigns across the progressive infrastructure to make inclusive hiring practices a priority moving forward.  Moving forward, the initiative calls for each campaign to internally track and transparently publish diversity figures quarterly.

Best estimates of the staff make-up of the Clinton, O’Malley, and Sanders campaigns are as follows*:

Candidate

White Campaign Staff

Campaign Staff of Color

Clinton

68%

32%

O’Malley

91%

9%

Sanders

90%

10%

Additional breakdowns of the campaign staff of color estimate the following: 

Candidate

African American

Latino

Asian American Pacific Islander

Native American

Arab American

Clinton

13%

8%

8%

0%

3%

O’Malley

7%

0%

2%

0%

0%

Sanders

3%

7%

0%

0%

0%

The Clinton Campaign’s estimated hiring rates are the best on the democratic side, however, they are currently behind President Obama’s 2012 vote share by race and ethnicity with approximately 68% white Clinton staffers compared to 56% of white Obama voters, and 32% Clinton staff of color compared to Obama’s 42% of voters of color. Both the O’Malley and Sanders campaigns are farther behind with an estimated 91% and 90% white staff, respectively. While 2012 provides a reasonable baseline of democratic vote share to compare these numbers, voters of color will make up an even bigger share of the electorate in 2016.

Since its founding four months ago, Inclusv has built a network of national leaders of color and developed a virtual resume bank, delivering hundreds of resumes of potential staff of color to 2016 campaign employers in national, state, and local efforts.  They continue to recruit people of color interested in careers in politics at their website Inclusv.com.  The organization’s leadership had the following to say about this data:

Alida Garcia, Executive Director, Inclusv: 

“Inclusv recognizes the direct correlation between who works on campaigns and how those campaigns engage the communities disproportionately impacted by every issue on the national agenda.  Authentic and deliberate inclusion is a vital component for any of these candidates to succeed. These numbers have significant room for growth.  Moving forward, we call upon each Presidential candidate to internally track and transparently publish their diversity data on a quarterly basis.”

Quentin James, Co-Founder, Inclusv:

“If staffers of color are not at the forefront within every department of your campaign, it's inauthentic to say you are ready to lead our nation on issues like immigration or criminal justice reform. We have to move beyond conversations about diversity and ensure we always reflect the true ideals of our democracy, even when it’s not convenient. If candidates want our support, people of color have to play prominent and vital roles within their campaigns.”

Gregory Cendana, Co-Founder, Inclusv:

"We believe the staff of campaigns and political organizations, should reflect the communities that candidates are trying to engage and the diversity of our country. With the changing demographics and the challenges that lie ahead, it's clear the work of Inclusv is needed now more than ever. As election season ramps up, we hope to see the percentage of staff of color increase and look forward to partnering with all campaigns, including Presidential candidates, to take important steps to strengthen our democracy. 

Notes about the data & methodology:

  • The data used in this analysis was limited to the July 1st, 2015 filing deadline as reported in the FEC reports on July 15th, 2015. We believe that the number of staff of color is potentially higher for each campaign due some staff beginning employment after June 30th.
  • *We know that there is no 100% verifiable method in performing this analysis and there is likely to be pushback to these numbers.  The best way for this data to be verified completely is for the actual campaigns to track their internal data through self-identifying measures taken on by their staff.
  • Inclusv includes African-Americans, Latino/Hispanic, Asian American Pacific Islander, Native American, and Arab American in its definition of people of color.
  • Democratic candidate Lincoln Chaffee does not have an adequate number of campaign staff expenditures in his FEC report to be included in this analysis.

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