Marisa Abrajano – Latinos and the 2008 Elections in California
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Similar to the outcomes in both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, California was expected to be a solidly blue state in the 2008 presidential race. What makes this presidential election distinct from previous ones, however, is the significant role that California played in the democratic nomination process. For the first time in the modern day presidential nomination process, the state’s fastest growing share of the electorate, Latinos, were given the opportunity to express their political preferences in a meaningful and important way. This paper examines the factors influencing Latino vote choice in the 2008 Democratic and Republican presidential primaries. Can Latino vote choice be explained in the same manner as non-Latinos? Do potential distinctions in the information they receive (e.g. political ads, the media) affect their vote decisions in any way? In the months that followed California’s primary election, Latino voters remained in the spotlight, though not with respect to the presidential race. Instead, the importance of capturing the Latino vote turned to Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that would amend the California constitution to ban same sex-marriage in the state.
Paper co-authored with Fernando Guerra, Professor of Political Science at Loyola Marymount University
Marisa Abrajano, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego; CCIS Visiting Fellow
Marisa Abrajano is an assistant professor in the department of political science at the University of California, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in politics from New York University in 2005. Her research interests are in American politics, particularly in the areas of campaigns, mass electoral behavior, Latino politics, and racial/ethnic politics. She is the author of two forthcoming books: Campaigning to the New American Electorate: Television Advertising to Latinos (Stanford University Press) and New Faces, New Voices: The Hispanic Electorate in America (with R. Michael Alvarez) published by Princeton University Press. Her other work has been published in The Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, American Politics Research and Political Behavior.