Friday, April 18, 2008

Latinos are not swing voters

David L. Leal, Stephen A. Nuño, Jongho Lee, and Rodolfo O. de la Garza, “Latinos, Immigration, and the 2006 Midterm Elections,” PS: Political Science and Politics XLI, 2 (April 2008): 309-317.

There’s no abstract, but full text is available.

As the title suggests, the article takes a close look at the 2006 midterm elections and compares conventional wisdom about Latino voters to the actual results.

The most important conclusion is that despite conventional wisdom, Latinos were not swing voters. Their partisanship was relatively solid, and any changes (e.g. a drop in support for Republicans) were similar to that of other voters. Here’s a great quote:

Some pundits, journalists, and political consultants may repeat the myth for professional reasons. It would produce much more interest, as well as create suspense, if a substantial share of the Latino electorate was said to frequently switch its support for political parties and candidates. Such a portrayal would help generate more demand for those who provide interpretation of, commentary about, and outreach to the Latino electorate (p. 313).

They note that 23.5% of Latinos are undecided about party affiliation, which I think is a topic that deserves more attention. I’ve blogged about that before, and in a previous post had some interesting discussion in comments.


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