The New White Flight?: The Effects of Political Appeals to Latinos on White Democrats

  • Mara Cecilia OstfeldEmail author
Original Paper


One explanation for the post-1965 shift in the vote choice of White Americans posits that it was driven by a shift in the racial imagery of the two major parties. The growing role of Latinos in the Democratic Party has brought new changes in the racial groups associated with the parties. In this paper, I explore whether the increasing attention to Latinos in Democratic Party politics is having an effect similar to that which followed African-Americans political repositioning 50 years ago, and decreasing support for the Party among White Democrats. Drawing on three survey experiments, from two elections, I demonstrate that as White Democrats learn about Democratic outreach to Latinos, they become less supportive of Democrats. This pattern, I find, is driven by the effects that such information has on the racial prototypes associated with each party. All together, these findings point to a new phase of racial realignment in the American political system.


Racial attitudes Latinos News media Campaigning Obama Clinton Vote choice 

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1322 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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