The Surprising Stability of Asian Americans' and Latinos' Partisan Identities in the Early Trump Era

60 Pages Posted: 10 May 2021 Last revised: 7 Mar 2022

See all articles by Daniel J. Hopkins

Daniel J. Hopkins

University of Pennsylvania

Cheryl Kaiser

University of Washington - Graduate Department of Psychology

Efren O. Perez

Vanderbilt University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: March 4, 2022

Abstract

Two prominent, compatible accounts contend that Asian Americans and Latinos are not strongly connected to America's political parties and that their partisanship is responsive to identity threats. Donald Trump's political ascent presents a critical test, as Trump reoriented the Republican Party by foregrounding anti-immigrant hostility. Here, we test these perspectives using one of the first-ever population-based panels of Asian Americans and Latinos fielded 2016 to 2018. Across various empirical tests, we uncover surprising strength and stability in respondents’ partisan identities. In a period of pronounced anti-immigrant rhetoric, these groups remained steadfast in their party affiliation. We also show that pan-ethnic identities were stable over this period and that partisanship can predict subsequent pan-ethnic identities more consistently than the reverse. By 2016, pan-ethnic identities were already stably integrated with partisanship, with little evidence of situational shifts in response to identity threats.

Keywords: Public opinion, partisanship, racial/ethnic politics, panel data

JEL Classification: H00

Suggested Citation

Hopkins, Daniel J. and Kaiser, Cheryl and Perez, Efren O., The Surprising Stability of Asian Americans' and Latinos' Partisan Identities in the Early Trump Era (March 4, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3840922 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3840922

Daniel J. Hopkins (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Stiteler Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.danhopkins.org

Cheryl Kaiser

University of Washington - Graduate Department of Psychology ( email )

Seattle, WA
United States

Efren O. Perez

Vanderbilt University - Department of Political Science ( email )

2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
United States

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