The importance of Latino voters in the presidential election

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In a year where every vote will count, the growing Latino population will continue to play a big role. We discussed the importance of the Latino vote in 2024 with Jason Barraza, a partner in the political consulting firm Veridus, and Dr. Edward Vargas, Associate Professor at the School of Transborder Studies at ASU and Senior Analyst at BSP Research.

According to Pew Research, more than 36 million Latinos will be eligible to vote this year, which is setting a new record. There are many questions about whether Latinos are trending towards voting more conservatively.

“My colleague, Eric Gonzalez Juenke, over at Michigan State, just did some cooperative election survey data, and what it shows, in 2014 you actually see a little bit of decline in the Democratic share,” Dr. Vargas said. “You actually see this being taken up into the Independents. Then you see also a reduction of Latino Republicans moving into that space as well, so you see a rise on the Independent side.”

Dr. Vargas said Latino voters are generally about nine years younger than the median voter, which is important because there is an increase in the number of younger voters every year. The issues that younger voters care about are abortion rights, childcare costs and health care, Dr. Vargas said.

“There are other issues that are going to be much more at the forefront, for example, abortion, and it’s going to be consistent across the board nationally as far as the interest within the population nationally as it is in Arizona,” Barraza said.

Barraza believes politicians should not focus on taking a stand on a particular issue and then try to shift that person’s vote one way or another.

“It’s identifying what issue that voter already agrees with you on and then communicating that they’re the candidate of choice for that voter. So it’s going to come down to both the Biden campaign and the Trump campaign,” Barraza said.

Jason Barraza, partner in the political consulting firm Veridus
Dr. Edward Vargas, Associate Professor at the School of Transborder Studies at ASU and Senior Analyst at BSB Research

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