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Published September 21, 2017 | Submitted
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Ethnicity and Electoral Choice: Mexican-American Voting Behavior in the California 30th Congressional District


The 1982 election in California offers a unique natural experiment in ethnic and racial block voting. The race in the 30th Congressional District matched a well-financed Anglo Republican, John Rousselot, against an incumbent Hispanic, Marty Martinez, in a predominantly Hispanic seat. On the ballot with Martinez and Rousselot were the successful Republican candidates for Governor and the U. S. Senate, George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson, and the losing Democratic candidates, Tom Bradley (who is Black) and Jerry Brown. These variations in the race and ethnicity of the candidates on the ballot in 1982 can be used to estimate the impact of ethnic and racial consideration in voting decisions. The data for this study were gathered in two surveys of the 30th Congressional District of California. The first was a telephone survey of 455 respondents administered during the third week of October, 1982. The second was a poll of 409 voters as they left the voting booth on election day.

Additional Information

Published as Bruce, E. Cain, and D. Roderick Kiewiet. "Ethnicity and electoral choice: Mexican American voting behavior in the California 30th Congressional district." Social Science Quarterly 65.2 (1984): 315.

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