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The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-018-9462-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
I express my deepest thanks to Bernard Fraga, Eric Gonzalez Juenke, Tony Carey, Leonie Huddy, Nick Valentino, Vincent Hutchings, Matt Levendusky, and Diana Mutz for offering candid and constructive advice on this project. I am also indebted to Ronald Jordan, Jr., Gloria Rolón-Jordan and Zaida Rolón for useful insights on this paper and invaluable support. Finally, I thank the Center for the Study on Citizens and Politics at the University of Pennsylvania for the financial support to perform the first experiment. The data and code to replicate the results reported in this paper can be found in the Political Behavior data archive in Dataverse.
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.
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