Lessons from 2020 election: A game plan for connecting with Latino voters

Latino Vote webinar screen

UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

Journalist María Elena Salinas, left, and (clockwise from top center) Mike Madrid, co-founder of the Lincoln Project; UCLA professor Matt Barreto; Rudy Soto, Democratic candidate for Congress; and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez.

In a Nov. 24 panel hosted by the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative and the Aspen Institute’s Latinos and Society Program, experts took aim at questions about Latino voters’ roles and preferences in the 2020 presidential election. Their discussion shed light on the path ahead for both Democrats and Republicans to engage with a diverse and growing constituency.

“Latinos want to feed their families, they want security, they want a president who’s going to deal with this pandemic, and we saw that in our polling across the board,” Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told the virtual audience.

But the panelists emphasized that the biggest takeaway from 2020 is that Latinos do not vote with a single mind.

“There are things that bind us together, but our politics are unique,” said Matt Barreto, a UCLA professor of political science and Chicano and Chicana studies who advised the Biden campaign. “At the end of the day, Latinos want to be engaged, as Latinos but also as Americans.”

Read the full event recap.

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