“Family Values Don’t Stop at the Rio Grande . . .”: Can the Republican Party Convert Hispanic Voters?
As the Hispanic community becomes increasingly important in American politics there are competing views about whether they can be converted to the Republican Party. One perspective argues that Hispanics’ religion and traditional social values makes them natural constituents of the Republican Party. Alternatively, Hispanics are primarily concerned about issues promoting their well-being and topics such as moral values or religion are private. We use a novel approach to test whether traditional social values might attract Hispanic voters to the Republican Party. Using exit poll results for ballot propositions on moral issues from Arizona, Colorado, and Florida we find weak evidence that traditional values will convert Hispanics to the Republican Party. Instead, our results indicate that traditional social values issues reinforce the polarization between the two parties.
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