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Published April 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Hispanic vote in the 2004 Presidential election: Insecurity and moral concerns


This paper examines Hispanic voting behavior in the 2004 Presidential election. Our research makes a significant contribution to the literature on Hispanic politics, as this is the first study to apply theories of issue and economic voting to a nationwide sample of Hispanic voters. We demonstrate that, similar to Anglos, issues and ideology were highly influential in the vote choice of Hispanics in the 2004 election. However, using the best available data on Hispanic voting behavior for this election, a statewide aggregation of the National Election Pool (NEP), we demonstrate that in this election Hispanic voters placed more emphasis on moral values issues and national security than on traditional domestic issues such as the economy and education. This accounted for Republican gains beyond the overall increase in Bush's vote share from 2000 to 2004. We also show that moral values and national security had roughly equal importance in Bush's victory.

Additional Information

Copyright © Southern Political Science Association 2008. Manuscript submitted 26 June 2006; accepted for publication 27 April 2007. We thank audiences at the 2006 Western Political Science Association annual meeting and the 2007 Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting for their comments, as well as Rosalee A. Clawson, Lina Newton, and Nicholas J. G. Winter. Alvarez and Nagler also thank Jim Gerstein, Stan Greenberg, and Ana Iparraguirre for stimulating discussions about Hispanic voting and the 2004 election.

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