Look back in anger? Voter opinions of Mexican immigrants in the aftermath of the 2006 immigration demonstrations

Mara Cohen-Marks, Stephen A Nuno, Gabriel R. Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


In the spring of 2006, an unprecedented mobilization of undocumented immigrants and their advocates sent shockwaves across the U.S. political landscape. Whether the demonstrations did more to advance the interests of undocumented residents and other immigrants or to harden nativist sentiments remains an open question. Examining data culled from a three-county exit poll of more than 4,300 voters in three urbanized western counties, we employ multivariate analysis to examine how the immigration rallies impacted voters' perceptions of Mexican immigrants. Our results indicate that the demonstrators failed to win the hearts and minds of American voters, most of whom reported that the rallies tended to negatively impact their perceptions of Mexican immigrants. The depth of this negative reaction varied across the sociopolitical contexts represented by the three counties as well as voters' individual attributes including party identification, ethnicity, nativity, and other characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-717
Number of pages23
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Ethnic attitudes
  • Immigration
  • Immigration rallies
  • Mexican-Americans
  • Social movements
  • Voter opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies

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