Monday, May 05, 2008

Mexican Americans are the least liberal Hispanics: I shown in previous posts that immigrants tilt the country left. In particular, I have focused on Mexicans since they are the largest group. Other Hispanics are often lumped in with Mexicans, but they might very well have different politics. Cuban Americans are known for their Republican voting, for example.

The General Social Survey asked 9,613 people their if they had Hispanic origins, and their political views (ranging from "extremely liberal" (1) to "extremely conservative" (7)). Here are the means subtracted from 7 so that higher scores show greater liberalism:

Mean liberalism score

Mexicans 2.89
Puerto Ricans 3.19
Cubans 3.18
Dominicans 3.40
Central Americans 3.22
South Americans 3.26

All other Hispanics are worse than Mexicans. Even Cubans are farther to the left. It might be the case that the only reason why they vote Republican is over the issue of Cuba. They fit in with general pattern of liberalism among immigrants. Their numbers are also consistent with the high liberalism scores of other Caribbean people (i.e., Puerto Ricans, Dominicans).

Central and South Americans are also more liberal than Mexicans. According to GSS data, there simply are no conservative Hispanic groups. (The closest thing perhaps is Filipinos).

Hispanics are another example of how Catholicism in America does not move people right. Priests pray for the end of abortion, but parishioners want social programs.

(This is off-topic, but it occurred to me while attending mass yesterday that I felt like I was trapped in a 1976 Up With People concert.)

1 comment:

  1. Mexicans may be the most liberal Hispanic group when they're compared with their neighbors. While Dominicans and Puerto Ricans score higher on the GSS liberalism question, for the most part they live in Northeastern states where most voters tend to be relatively liberal and therefore don't really stand out. True, many Mexicans live in fairly liberal California, but many others are in distinctly conservative states such as Texas and Arizona. It's not impossible to imagine that the wider political gulf between Mexicans and white voters in their home states may make it harder for Mexicans to find acceptance.

    Speaking of Puerto Ricans, if you don't mind a little digression, I've lived and worked all my life in areas with substantial Puerto Rican populations (Connecticut and New York). While there's a tendency to think of Puerto Ricans as recent migrants, in fact many of them are into their third or even fourth generation living on the mainland. It's my impression, not based on anything statistical to be sure, that over the past 10 or 15 years they're gradually becoming less and less of a distinct minority, and instead are becoming just another ethnic group that isn't really "different" any longer. If this impression is correct, it might bode well for eventual assimilation of the Mexican immigrant population.


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