Political knowledge and issue voting among the Latino electorate

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Date: June 2006
From: Political Research Quarterly(Vol. 59, Issue 2)
Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.
Document Type: Author abstract
Length: 156 words
Lexile Measure: 60L

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Abstract :

How informed is a Latino vote? Though recent scholarship has improved our understanding of Latino political participation, partisanship, and policy preferences, relatively little is known about how Hispanics make electoral decisions. In this effort, we evaluate the role policy issues, candidate affect, and symbolism play in the electoral choices of Latino voters. In particular, we are interested in how these factors affect the vote across voters with varying levels of political information. Using the 2000 Tomas Rivera Policy Institute pre-election poll, we explore the degree to which Latino voters relied on issue-positions to judge the two major party candidates and compare the effect of such considerations with symbolic and candidate-specific appeals. We find that policy issues played an important role in shaping voting preferences, but only among politically knowledgeable voters, while among uninformed voters, symbolism and long-standing partisan preferences matter most. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for political representation and Latino politics.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A151974773