The Journal of Politics

ARTICLES

A Latino on the Ballot: Explaining Coethnic Voting Among Latinos and the Response of White Americans

Corrine M. McConnaughya1, Ismail K. Whitea2, David L. Leala3 and Jason P. Casellasa4

a1 The Ohio State University

a2 The Ohio State University

a3 The University of Texas at Austin

a4 The University of Texas at Austin

Abstract

In recent campaigns, candidates have sought to attract votes from the growing Latino electorate through ethnic cues. Yet, we know very little about the impact of appeals to ethnicity. This article examines the role that ethnic cues play in shaping the political opinions and choices of Latinos, as well as the response of non-Hispanic White Americans (Anglos). We take up the simplest of group cues, the ethnicity of the candidate. We argue that candidate ethnicity is an explicit ethnic cue that alters the political choices of Latinos through priming of their ethnic linked fate, but only affects Anglos through spreading activation of primed ethnic attitudes to national identity considerations. Evidence from an experiment that manipulated exposure to candidate ethnicity information provides evidence for these claims. Our results help to explain coethnic voting among Latinos and resistance to Latino candidates among Anglos.

(Received June 24 2008)

(Accepted March 18 2010)

Footnotes

Corrine M. McConnaughy is Assistant Professor of Political Science at The Ohio State University, OH.

Ismail K. White is Assistant Professor of Political Science at The Ohio State University, OH.

David L. Leal is Associate Professor of Government and Director of the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712.

Jason P. Casellas is Assistant Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712.

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