|Abstract:||Why is the working class numerically underrepresented in political offices in the United States? This paper outlines several possibilities and tests them using aggregate-level data on state legislatures, which tend to vary considerably in their class compositions. Although observers have long maintained that working-class people are less likely to hold office because they are less qualified, I find no evidence of a link between the political capabilities of blue-collar workers and their representation in state legislatures. To the contrary, the shortage of the working class in office appears to have far more to do with the characteristics of the political environment: parties, interest groups, and institutions. Those who wish to understand class-based inequalities in office holding—and those who wish to do something about them—would do well to focus on these contextual factors, not on the supposed shortcomings of the working class.