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Latino Partisanship, Political Activity and Vote Choice

  • Kim Geron
  • Melissa R. Michelson

The increasing size and potential political power of Latinos in the United States has spawned a host of recent scholarly work on various aspects of Latino political attitudes and behavior. Although Latinos have yet to live up to their billing as the “sleeping giant” of American politics, their presence and influence is increasingly recognized by researchers interested in political attitudes and behavior. This chapter explores the contemporary contours of Latino political participation, including available research on Latinos in general and on specific Latino national-origin groups. Although much still remains to be learned, particularly about Latinos not in the “big three” national-origin groups (Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans), as detailed below there is already a considerable amount of scholarship available on how Latinos think and act in the political arena. Although, as is detailed below, there are areas in which scholars disagree, there are some findings about Latino politics that are consistent and increasingly viewed as “truths.” Scholars have also examined how Latinos make vote choice decisions. How important is partisanship and how does this compare to the role of partisanship among non-Latinos? How strong is the tendency to vote for coethnics (fellow Latinos), and is this tendency stronger or weaker than the power of shared partisanship? How important are candidate issue positions and symbolic outreach, such as speaking Spanish while campaigning? Again, debates continue. However, most research indicates that Latinos are willing to cross party and ethnic lines for a candidate they support, either for partisan, ethnic, or other reasons such as ideology and issue positions. Whereas low-education/low-information Latino voters are more likely to use non-policy cues (such as speaking Spanish), high-education/high-information Latino voters are more likely to consider ideology and issue positions.

Keywords

Political Participation Democratic Party Party Identification Vote Choice Republican Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim Geron
    • 1
  • Melissa R. Michelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceCalifornia State University East BayUSA

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