Does context—racial, economic, fiscal, and political—affect whites’ votes on racially-related ballot propositions? We examine non-Hispanic whites’ voting behavior on three California ballot initiatives: Propositions 187, 209, and 227. Unlike previous analyses that lacked individual-level data and were therefore limited to ecological inference, we combine individual-level data from exit polls with county-level contextual variables in a hierarchical linear model. Racial/ethnic context affected whites’ votes only on Proposition 187, economic context had no influence on vote choice, and the effect of fiscal context was limited to Proposition 227. However, across the propositions, whites’ decisions were shaped by their political context. Thus, we do not find support for the “racial threat” hypothesis across all racially-charged issues.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 3, 2006
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