Benjamin's research interests include Race and Politics, Local Elections and Voting behavior, and Public Opinion. Benjamin serves on the Editorial Board of Urban Affairs Review and Political Research Quarterly.
Analyzes how Black and Latino voters support coethnic candidates at high rates in local elections. Posits that when race and ethnicity become salient in a campaign, endorsements from Black and Latino leaders and organizations increase support of out-group candidates among Blacks and Latinos.
Analyzes why endorsements have become a part of most election cycles. Provides insight into the process of how organizations and newspapers endorse candidates, provides evidence that demonstrates candidates believe these endorsements are important, and tests the claim that voters are aware of these endorsements even when controlling for factors such as partisanship, ideology, and education.
Examines racial and ethnic coalition building in local elections and considers Black and Latino political incorporation more broadly. Discusses how, although many argue that Black and Latino voters have much to gain from alliances that advance shared interests, coalitions between the two groups have not always formed easily or been stable over time.