After the 2022 midterms, media coverage returned to familiar questions around the Latino vote: Why don’t more Latinos vote? How can Democrats and Republicans do a better job connecting with Latino voters? Both parties maintain that Latino voters are important to them. But across the country many Latinos say they feel alienated from the political process.
In this podcast we examine the rhetoric and the reality of Latino voting in the U.S. “All polling is suggesting that Latinos value voting (and) understand the importance of voting to our democracy,” said Gabriel Sanchez, a pollster who focuses on Latino voters and is one of the speakers on the podcast. “Then what are the obstacles that are in the way?” Sanchez asks.
Latinos themselves are often blamed for not keeping pace with other groups in the U.S. when it comes to voting. But in our conversation speakers who represent left, right and center perspectives agree that Latinos, who make up 14% of the U.S. electorate, have largely been ignored by the major political parties. “I think the parties have done a terrible, woeful job of reaching out and engaging specifically the Latino community,” said Daniel Garza, president of the conservative Libre Initiative.
Hosted by Carolina González, the conversation includes a variety of voices from around the country:
Maritza Lizeth Félix is a freelance journalist, producer and writer based in Arizona. She leads Conecta Arizona, a Spanish language news service on WhatsApp.
Daniel Garza is founder and president of the Libre Initiative, an organization he started with the Charles Koch Institute that engages and mobilizes Hispanic and Latino conservatives. He is based in Texas.
Leo Murrieta is Nevada State Director for Make the Road Action, an organization that builds political power among working class Latinx communities through grassroots progressive organizing.
Gabriel Sanchez is a political science professor at the University of New Mexico. He is also Director of Research at BSP Research, a polling firm that conducted the Latino portions of the larger 2022 Midterm Election Voter Poll by the African American Research Collaborative.
Virginia Lora, who also produced the podcast episode, is an editorial fellow at Feet in 2 Worlds She is based in Miami, Florida.
This special edition of A Better Life? highlights our pre-Election Day coverage of Latino voters in Arizona and South Florida and is part of our ongoing series Immigrants in a Divided Country.
The conversation was recorded before a live audience on Zoom on January 5, 2023.
A Better Life? and Feet in 2 Worlds are supported by The Ford Foundation, the John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation, the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation, an anonymous donor, and readers and listeners like you.