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Do Social Ties Encourage Immigrant Voters to Participate in Other Campaign Activities?


  • We shall share all data and coding for replication purposes. We thank our student volunteers for helping collect the data, and the anonymous reviewers for their insights.



How do immigrants become politically active? While this process has been extensively studied, the role of ties to formal and informal institutions of society has been understudied. We test whether informal (political discussion) and formal (connections to community organizations) ties encourage immigrant voters to participate in other campaign activities.


Data were collected through a 2008 exit poll of Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA voters. Along with assessing the bivariate relationship between social ties and campaign participation, we use a Poisson event count regression model to control for alternative explanations.


The positive relationship between social ties and campaign participation among immigrant voters disappears once we control for alternative explanations. There is, however, a positive relationship among the native born (including second-generation immigrants).


Voters need to acquire personal resources, and become assimilated into American political culture, before social ties have an effect on campaign participation.

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