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POL 168: Chican@/Latin@ Politics. Professor Brad Jones Dept. of Political Science UC-Davis. Today. Fun with Data VRA Begin with the “Sandoval Proposition”. Trust-in-Government. Trust-in-Government by Sub-Group. Trust…take-away points. Major features?

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Pol 168 chican@ latin@ politics

POL 168: Chican@/Latin@ Politics

Professor Brad Jones

Dept. of Political Science



  • Fun with Data

  • VRA

  • Begin with the “Sandoval Proposition”

Trust take away points
Trust…take-away points

  • Major features?

  • What are the important sub-group differences?

  • Overall, how would you characterize levels of trust-in-government?

  • Does this surprise you?

  • What about belief politicians are interested in Latino issues?

Some simple relationships
Some Simple Relationships

  • What is the relationship between attention and efficacy?

  • There exists an “attention gap” in Latin@ ratings of attention-to-issues.

  • Men slightly more likely to say “yes” compared to “women.”

  • Overall points?


  • What does this suggest about political efficacy?

  • Does it matter if one is US born or foreign born?

    • Differences are not as pronounced by most respondents agree with the statement.

  • What about perceived influence of citizens?

  • “In the US, citizens can have an influence at all levels of government…by voting and engaging in other political activities.” (Agree/Disagree)

  • 78 percent of respondents agree with this.

  • Does it “match up” with other result?

  • Makes no difference if respondent is foreign born or US born.

Forms of participation
Forms of Participation

  • Contribute Money?

    9.4 percent have (over 90 percent have not!)

    14.2 percent of US born have (still low number)

    ● Volunteer for Candidate?

    5.5 percent have; 8.7 percent of US born have.

    ● Civic Participation (attend a meeting/demonstration?)

    19.3 percent have; 26.9 percent of US born have.

    ● What about voting?

Turnout rates based on census data
Turnout Rates Based on Census Data

  • 2004: Estimated 47 percent of eligible Latinos voted (number will be on the “high-side”)

    • Estimated 67 percent of white non-Latino

    • Estimated 60 percent of African-American

    • Estimated 44 percent of Asian

    • Again, numbers high because they are based on Census data.

    • Take away point?

    • Source: http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p20-556.pdf


  • 2000 Presidential

    • Latino Estimate: 45.1 percent

    • White, non-Latino: 61.8

    • African-American: 56.8

    • Asian/PI: 43.3

  • 2002 Midterms

    • Latino Estimate: 30.4 percent

    • White, non-Latino: 49.1 percent

    • African-American: 42.3 percent

    • Asian/PI: 31.2 percent

  • 1998/1994 Midterms

    • Latino Estimate: 32.8 percent/34.0 percent

  • Source for data: US Census Bureau

  • Take-away points?

What about political parties
What about political parties?

  • Which party has the most concern for Latinos?

  • What might you expect?

  • Let’s consider some data.

Best party
Best Party?

  • In 2004, is there one?

  • What about now?

  • In 2006, survey results suggested a similar story.

  • Haven’t seen more recent data…

  • However…

  • Recall the immigration results from the last slide set.

  • Let’s consider some indicators of participation.

What do we know about latinos
What do we know about Latinos?

  • Attitudes toward government?

  • Politicians?

  • Political Parties?

  • The Acculturation Issue?

  • Participation?

  • I M P L I C A T I O N S

  • Mobilization? Courting the Latino Vote?

Some links
Some Links

  • Fox Reports

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OU9PRb_jqA&feature=related


  • http://www.naleo.org/


  • http://www.lulac.org/

  • Voto Latino

  • http://www.votolatino.org/?gclid=CL3F-pHZ85ECFSD7iAodG0KLqQ

  • Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project

  • http://www.svrep.org/

Voting rights act
Voting Rights Act

  • Monumental legislation with respect to voting and civil liberties

  • Has spawned many “landmark” Supreme Court decision

  • Import

    • Federalized authority over electoral process

  • Original intent primarily focused on African-American voting rights in the South

  • 14th and 15th Amendments, in practice, were hard to enforce

    • Enforcement Act of 1870

    • Force Act of 1871

    • Both repealed; essentially no enforcement until 1950s.

    • States Gone Wild (especially Southern States)

      • Poll Taxes, Literacy Tests, Hostile Voting Locales

Vra of 1965
VRA of 1965

  • The impetus begins in Kennedy Admin.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-srOvwG81Iw&feature=related

  • Landmark legislation passed by the LBJ administration in 1965.

  • The VRA applied to specific areas:

    • Where registration and turnout was less than 50 percent of the potential electorate.

    • All the Southern states and Texas and Arizona were “covered” by the VRA; counties in other states were also covered (including CA)

Vra of 19651
VRA of 1965

  • Section 2 of the VRA was crucial for minority voting rights.

    • Prohibited minority vote dilution

    • Prohibited practices aimed at denying minorities an unfair chance to vote.

  • Section 5 equally crucial

    • Required preclearance

    • Direct hand of the federal government in the drawing of congressional district lines

    • The effect of proposed changes in “VRA covered” areas was now a “live” issue.

Pol 168 chican latin politics

  • Requires reauthorization, most recently 2006

  • Mobile vs. Bolden (1980)

    • Required plaintiffs to prove discriminatory intent; a difficult task.

    • Reauthorization in 1982 revised proof requirement; requirement was now just to show the results of discrimination.

Vra and latino voting
VRA and Latino Voting

  • 1975 Amendments to VRA

    • Sec. 203 extended coverage to linguistic minorities, thus expanding coverage.

    • Asian, Alaskan natives, American Indians and persons of Spanish Heritage

    • Required native language electoral materials in covered areas (given a threshold was met)

  • VRA opens up possibility of “descriptive representation” (recall last slide set)

Vra and voting
VRA and Voting

  • Latino Representation

    • 5 in 1970; 21 currently

    • Congressional Hispanic Caucus

      • http://www.house.gov/baca/chc/history.shtml

    • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

      • http://www.chci.org/

    • Why the increase?

    • In part, redistricting efforts.


  • Thornburg v. Gingles (1986)

    • Upheld constitutionality of majority-minority districts (50 percent or more)

    • Implications?

  • What happened?

    • Claims of “racial gerrymandering.”

    • Challenges to Constitutionality of Districts

    • Shaw v. Reno (1993)

    • 5-4 decision: equal protection violated because irregularly shaped districts segrated races “for purposes of voting, without regard for traditional districting principles…” (Shaw v. Reno)

    • Bush v Vera (1996) and Hunt v. Cromartie (2001) have rolled back this interpretation

    • Race may be used as one of “several factors” in the creation of districts

Redistricting and related issues
Redistricting and Related Issues

  • Problem with Majority-Minority Districts?

  • Emphasis on “impact” or “influence” districts.

    • The critical mass argument is made here.

  • Diverse electoral districts

    • In many places, Latinos and African-Americans live in close proximity.

    • Districting means a large number of both groups will reside in the district.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBhl_lKLdJ8&feature=related (O’Reilly)

Congressional districts
Congressional Districts

  • Some Examples

    • CA 33rd District

      • 30 percent African American

      • 35 percent Hispanic Origin

      • African American representative Diane Watson

    • CA 35th District

      • 34.1 percent African American

      • 47.4 Hispanic Origin

      • African American representative Maxine Waters

    • CA 37th District

      • 24.8 percent African American

      • 43.2 percent Hispanic Origin

    • http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/03statab/congdist.pdf

Voting rules
Voting Rules

  • US Congress

    • Single-member district

    • Winner-take-all

    • Implications

  • Reinforces two-party dominant system

    • Incentive for third parties to emerge small.

  • Not all publicly held offices work this way

Alternative voting systems
Alternative Voting Systems

  • Often proposed as a solution for low levels of minority representation.

  • Examples

    • Cumulative Voting: Cast as many votes as there are candidates running.

    • It’s up to you how to distribute those votes.

    • Why might this help minority candidates?

    • Research shows it does work (see Garcia for citations)

Alternative voting systems1
Alternative Voting Systems

  • Single Transferrable Vote Systems

    • Preference Voting sometimes associated with certain PR systems

  • Limited Voting

    • In limited voting, voters cast fewer votes than there are seats to be elected, thereby allowing a majority group to control the majority of seats, but not all seats. The greater the difference between the number of seats and the number of votes, the greater the opportunities for fair representation. Versions of limited voting are used in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia (PA), Hartford (CT) and many jurisdictions across North Carolina and Alabama. It has been used successfully to resolve several Voting Rights Act cases. (http://fairvote.org/?page=565)

  • Where these systems are in place, minority representation tends to be higher.