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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 27, 2019

Threat, Mobilization, and Latino Voting in the 2018 Election

Tyler Reny, Bryan Wilcox-Archuleta and Vanessa Cruz Nichols
From the journal The Forum


Throughout the 2016 US presidential campaign and the first 2 years of his presidency, Donald Trump has repeatedly dehumanized immigrants in pursuit of more restrictive immigration policies. Despite the common perception that this threat should increase the political mobilization of Latino voters, existing research has yielded mixed findings. In this article, we argue that attention has to be paid to both threatening climate and mobilization. We examine Latino voting in the 2018 midterm election using both aggregate election data from 2014 and 2018 as well as a large 10-week tracking poll (n=2767) of Latinos during the last 2 months of the 2018 election. We show that, compared to 2014, the number of ballots cast by Latinos increased substantially. Using the tracking poll, however, we show that threat alone did not appear to be sufficient to mobilize Latino voters in the 2018 election. It is threat combined with mobilization, rather, that increased Latino voting. We discuss implications for future Latino political participation in the US.


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Published Online: 2019-02-27
Published in Print: 2018-12-19

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