Anti-Immigrant Sentiment and Republican Support

While yesterday’s post looked at the growth of anti-immigrant, radical right populist parties in Europe, today turns back to Maryland. Specifically, just how closely linked is anti-immigrant sentiment to support for Republicans?

The election results from Question 4 from 2012 provide a handy snapshot of the views of voters on immigrants. Question 4 asked voters if they wanted to keep in place the Maryland Dream Act. The pro-immigrant side won a big victory when 58.9% of Marylanders voted in favor of allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state college tuition under certain conditions.

The county results on Question 4 turn out to be an excellent predictor of how each county voted in the 2012 presidential election. The scatterplot below shows that the share of a county’s voters that supported Romney or Hogan tended to increase in line with the share who voted no on Question 4.

Q4 & RomneyThis was not a one off, as the same is true for the 2014 gubernatorial election. Support for the Republican Larry Hogan tended to rise with the share who voted no on Question 4.

Q4 & HoganThe correlation between the share who voted no and the share who voted for Romney in each county was a very high .96. (Correlations have a maximum of 1, which would indicate that one factor perfectly predicts the other.) The correlation between the no vote and vote for Hogan was the same .96.

The next part of this series in immigration will compare the strength of immigration to other issues and demographic factors as predictor of election outcomes.