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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science