Our research also shows that Latinos are not voting for a specific candidate or party, but are instead voting for what is best for their families and the greater Latino community. They may be putting a check next to a name, but it isn’t the name on the ballot that is moving Latinos to the voting booths. It’s the ICE raids in their communities, the Planned Parenthoods closing their doors down the street, and their hopes of making a living wage that moves them to vote. So when thinking about how we engage young Latinos, we need organizations, political parties, and candidates to understand the importance of focusing on issue-based messages that move Latinos to action.
…For Latinos, the messenger often matters just as much as the message itself. When it comes to civic engagement, groups that have a deep and extensive understanding of the community itself are among the most trusted voices.
…The major political parties live and die on the 50 percent-plus-one strategy, where the desired outcome is not to achieve maximum participation, but instead to register and persuade just enough voters to put them over the top. This flawed strategy may bring out a voter for one election, but fails to build lifelong voters.
Latino voters are not a monolith, but there is major potential for investment when it comes to effective and culturally competent messaging.