Háblame de tí: Latino mobilization, group dynamics and issue prioritization in the 2020 Election

Article, Refereed Journal
The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics
The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics

What motivated Latinos to turnout in 2020 in the middle of a global health pandemic that has devastated their community financially, physically and mentally? How might we explain Latino support for each one of the presidential candidates in the context of these crises? In this paper, we tackle these questions through an investigation of the factors that drove Latino turnout in 2020 and what might explain Latino favorability for Joe Biden and Donald Trump. To contextualize these findings, we compare these results to the 2016 election. We find that the most predictive factors of Latino turnout in 2020 were perceived group discrimination and mobilization efforts by campaigns and other organizations. We also find that Latino candidate preference in 2020 can be best explained by issue prioritization. Latinos for whom the economy was the most important issue were more likely to support Donald Trump. However, Latinos for whom COVID-19 and racism towards the Latino community were the top pressing political priorities were more likely to favor Joe Biden. These findings continue to shed light on the diversity and heterogeneity of the Latino vote and speak to the significance of outreach efforts by political parties, candidates and community organizations.

Research Topic
Politics and the Policy Process