Latino voters navigate diverse issues and electoral influence

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Texas immigration laws are having an impact on the voting behaviors of the Latino community, as we discussed with Edward Vargas, Professor of Transborder Studies at ASU.

The discussion highlights the collective mobilization of Latinos against legislation perceived as anti-immigration and anti-Latino. The necessity of securing Latino, Black, and other diverse votes is emphasized, as neither the Democratic nor Republican parties can rely solely on the White electorate to secure victory.

The conversation further explores the evolution of priority issues within the Latino community from the 2016 to the 2020 elections. While immigration was a focal point in 2016, the economy took precedence in 2020, leading to a perception of diminished engagement from Latinos on traditionally salient issues. However, it’s noted that jobs, abortion, and other policy areas remain of significant concern to Latino voters.

The notion that Latinos are increasingly leaning towards the Republican party was critically examined by Vargas, who challenged the representativeness of certain studies, including a CBS study with a small Latino sample size. He argued surveys focusing on specific demographics, such as Latinos in Paradise Valley, fail to accurately capture the broader Latino perspective, which is diverse in nature.

As President Biden focused on the Southwest, the pressing issues of affordable housing and abortion rights were highlighted. These concerns resonate particularly with the younger segments of the Latino population, who are more likely to be first-time homebuyers. The purchasing power of the Latino community is underscored, likened in magnitude to that of Germany, illustrating its significance within the U.S. economy. For older Latinos, access to healthcare remains a paramount issue, reflecting the varied priorities across different age groups within the community.

Edward Vargas, professor of Transborder Studies, ASU

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