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Latino Political Trust and Policy Preferences: The Impact of Trust on Health Care Reform in California
Unformatted Document Text:  Early studies of political trust suggested that Latinos were less trusting than whites, but more trusting than African Americans (Guzman 1970; Garcia 1973). However, more recently de la Garza and his colleagues (1992) presented findings from the Latino Political National Survey (LPNS) that indicated that Latinos were slightly more trusting than whites. Cole and Kincaid (2006) utilizing a national sample also found that Hispanics or Latinos “were considerably more likely to report high levels of trust in the federal government than were non-Hispanics” (456). Furthermore, they find that Latinos express similar levels of trust in their state government, but this finding does not hold true at the local level. The importance of a study on Latinos and political trust increases daily with the increasing prominence of Latinos within California and the United States. An eight year time series of trust in California state government demonstrates that Latinos consistently express higher levels of trust in state government than their white counterparts (Figure 1). On average 42 percent of Latinos expressed they trust state government “just about always” or “most of the time”, compared to only 28 percent of Whites. [Figure 1 about here] Consequences of Political Trust Previous studies of political trust have examined multiple consequences of trust including trust and policy preferences (Chanley, Rudolph, and Rahn 2000; Hetherington 2001; Hetherington and Nugent 2001; Misztal 2001; Hetherington and Globetti 2002; Hetherington 2004; Rudolph and Evans 2005), political participation (Shingles 1981; Abramson 1983; Glass, Squire and Wolfinger 1984; Newton 1998; Stoole. 1998; Uslaner and Brown 2005), and voting behavior (Shingles 1981; Peterson and Wrighton 1998; Hetherington 1999). Furthermore, the consequences of political trust have been debated since the Miller-Citrin debate on political trust. In this well known debate published in The American Political Science 4

Authors: Bonner, Dean.
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Early studies of political trust suggested that Latinos were less trusting than whites, but
more trusting than African Americans (Guzman 1970; Garcia 1973). However, more recently de
la Garza and his colleagues (1992) presented findings from the Latino Political National Survey
(LPNS) that indicated that Latinos were slightly more trusting than whites. Cole and Kincaid
(2006) utilizing a national sample also found that Hispanics or Latinos “were considerably more
likely to report high levels of trust in the federal government than were non-Hispanics” (456).
Furthermore, they find that Latinos express similar levels of trust in their state government, but
this finding does not hold true at the local level. The importance of a study on Latinos and
political trust increases daily with the increasing prominence of Latinos within California and the
United States. An eight year time series of trust in California state government demonstrates that
Latinos consistently express higher levels of trust in state government than their white
counterparts (Figure 1). On average 42 percent of Latinos expressed they trust state government
“just about always” or “most of the time”, compared to only 28 percent of Whites.
[Figure 1 about here]
Consequences of Political Trust
Previous studies of political trust have examined multiple consequences of trust including
trust and policy preferences (Chanley, Rudolph, and Rahn 2000; Hetherington 2001;
Hetherington and Nugent 2001; Misztal 2001; Hetherington and Globetti 2002; Hetherington
2004; Rudolph and Evans 2005), political participation (Shingles 1981; Abramson 1983; Glass,
Squire and Wolfinger 1984; Newton 1998; Stoole. 1998; Uslaner and Brown 2005), and voting
behavior (Shingles 1981; Peterson and Wrighton 1998; Hetherington 1999).
Furthermore, the consequences of political trust have been debated since the Miller-Citrin
debate on political trust. In this well known debate published in The American Political Science
4


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