Anglo Voting on Nativist Ballot Initiatives: The Partisan Impact of Spatial Proximity to the U.S.-Mexico Border


  • *Direct correspondence to Regina Branton, Department of Political Science-MS-24, PO Box 1892, Rice University, Houston, TX 77251-1892 〈〉. The authors will share all data and coding information with those interested in replicating this study. The authors thank Bob Stein, John Alford, Ken Meier, and the anonymous reviewers. An earlier version of this article was presented at the Politics of Latino Education Conference at the University of Texas–Austin, December 2004.


Objective. In this study, we examine how contextual factors influence voting behavior on nativist ballot initiatives using California's Propositions 187 and 227. We argue that spatial proximity to the border is associated with voting behavior on nativist initiatives.

Methods. To examine the influence of environmental factors on Anglo voting behavior on nativist ballot initiatives, we utilize California Field Polls, U.S. Census data, and spatially referenced data generated using GIS software.

Results. The results indicate that spatial proximity to the border is an important component in individual-level voting on nativist initiatives and that the impact of proximity to the border on the vote for Propositions 187 and 227 varies as a function of individual-level partisan affiliation.

Conclusions. These findings hold implications for future research regarding the influence of geospatial boundaries and political behavior.