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Latino Political Trust and Policy Preferences: The Impact of Trust on Health Care Reform in California
Unformatted Document Text:  redistributive policies, while he theorizes that distributive policies do not require trust since benefits and costs are universal. Specifically, he asserts that there is an interactive relationship between trust and being a beneficiary. Specifically, Hetherington finds that trust “exerts its influence among those who perceive that a government program will require sacrifice of them, but trust is less important among those who perceive that they will benefit” (132). While Hetherington has provided ample evidence of his sacrifice based theory among the general population concerning trust in the federal government; this thesis has not been tested at the state level or specifically among Latinos. The role of ideology within models of policy preferences is generally straightforward. Conservatives are less likely to support spending while liberals are more likely (Jacoby 2000). However, in an attempt to extend the work of Hetherington, Rudolph and Evans (2005) theorize that financial costs are not the only type of costs and find that ideology “conditions the effects of political trust on attitudes toward both distributive and redistributive spending” (660). Rudolph and Evans note that while Hetherington’s argument regarding material self interest is valid, they assert that other sacrifices may be involved when deciding to support or oppose a policy. Specifically, the authors assert that their results “suggest that political trust is activated when individuals are asked to sacrifice ideological principles as well as their own self-interest” and that “while conservatives are less supportive of government spending than liberals, we find that political trust actually has a much larger impact on spending attitudes among conservatives” (668). The issues of ideology and trust are especially relevant among Latinos in California because while nearly 61 percent of Latinos in California state that they are registered as Democrats over 36 percent self identify as conservatives when asked 5 . Regarding the 5 Figures are based on eleven PPIC Statewide Surveys conducted between July 2006 and July 2007. 6

Authors: Bonner, Dean.
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redistributive policies, while he theorizes that distributive policies do not require trust since
benefits and costs are universal. Specifically, he asserts that there is an interactive relationship
between trust and being a beneficiary. Specifically, Hetherington finds that trust “exerts its
influence among those who perceive that a government program will require sacrifice of them,
but trust is less important among those who perceive that they will benefit” (132). While
Hetherington has provided ample evidence of his sacrifice based theory among the general
population concerning trust in the federal government; this thesis has not been tested at the state
level or specifically among Latinos.
The role of ideology within models of policy preferences is generally straightforward.
Conservatives are less likely to support spending while liberals are more likely (Jacoby 2000).
However, in an attempt to extend the work of Hetherington, Rudolph and Evans (2005) theorize
that financial costs are not the only type of costs and find that ideology “conditions the effects of
political trust on attitudes toward both distributive and redistributive spending” (660). Rudolph
and Evans note that while Hetherington’s argument regarding material self interest is valid, they
assert that other sacrifices may be involved when deciding to support or oppose a policy.
Specifically, the authors assert that their results “suggest that political trust is activated when
individuals are asked to sacrifice ideological principles as well as their own self-interest” and
that “while conservatives are less supportive of government spending than liberals, we find that
political trust actually has a much larger impact on spending attitudes among
conservatives” (668).
The issues of ideology and trust are especially relevant among Latinos in California
because while nearly 61 percent of Latinos in California state that they are registered as
Democrats over 36 percent self identify as conservatives when asked
. Regarding the
5
Figures are based on eleven PPIC Statewide Surveys conducted between July 2006 and July 2007.
6


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