Desperately Seeking Sonia? Latino Heterogeneity and Geographic Variation in Web Searches for Judge Sonia Sotomayor Academic Article uri icon


  • Linguistic heritage, cultural similarities, and experiences as ethnic minorities link Latinos in the United States, but distinctions on national origin, nativity, and geographic distribution may yield political differences. Previous investigations of Latino heterogeneity as a catalyst for unity or division are limited to narrow issue domains and the set of elections characterized by within-group diversity. It remains unclear whether Latinos will respond cohesively to co-ethnic cues in national politics. Using data state-level Web search volumes related to Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court, we assess the extent to which Latino national origin within the states corresponds to expressed interest in her. We find the relative size of the Puerto Rican population predicts interest in Sotomayor's nomination above the positive effects predicted by panethnic Latino population. The results indicate heterogeneity in Latino political orientations and simultaneously show that differential responses to co-ethnic cues among Latinos may be reinforcing rather than oppositional.[[Supplementary material is available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of Political Communication for the following free supplemental resource(s): Table of the Highest Circulating Newspapers in Each State.]. © 2013 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

altmetric score

  • 8.83

author list (cited authors)

  • Manzano, S., & Ura, J. D.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • January 2013