Political Behavior, Vol. 25, No. 4, December 2003 ( 2003)
DIFFERENTIAL INFLUENCES ON LATINO
Robert A. Jackson
Relying on the Voter Supplement File of the November 2000 Current Population Sur-
vey (CPS), this study assesses sociodemographic influences on the registration status
andturnout of Latino citizens in the UnitedStates. Latinos’ deficits on socioeconomic
status andsocial-connectedness largely account for their lower levels of participation.
This study also provides a thorough assessment of whether and of how the influences
on electoral participation differ between Anglos and Latinos. Noteworthy findings
emerge. Whereas formal education and marriage demonstrate greater influence on
the participation of Anglos, Latinos reap greater participatory benefits from age.
Key words: voter turnout; electoral participation; Latino political behavior.
Responding to the changing ethnic demographics of the United States, both
politicians and students of politics have begun to devote increasing attention
to the political behavior of Latinos or Hispanic-Americans.
The 2000 U.S.
Census underscores the importance of Latinos to the future of the American
electoral landscape. Surpassing African-Americans, Latinos now comprise the
largest minority in the United States. Furthermore, their prominence will only
increase over the coming decades. This study contributes to our knowledge of
one fundamental aspect of Latino political behavior: electoral participation.
Relying on the Voter Supplement File of the November 2000 Current Popula-
tion Survey (CPS), it examines sociodemographic influences on the registra-
tion status and the turnout of Latino citizens in the 2000 election.
many of the existing efforts examine a limited segment of the Latino citizenry
(e.g., Mexican-Americans or Puerto Ricans) and/or a specific geographic set-
ting (e.g., California or Texas), this study takes advantage of the large size of
the CPS sample to provide a relatively comprehensive look into the sociode-
Robert A. Jackson, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Florida State Univer-
sity, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2230 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
0190-9320/03/1200-0339/0 2003 Plenum Publishing Corporation