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Understanding Latino voting strength in 2016 and beyond: Why culturally competent research matters


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Throughout the 2016 election cycle opinion polls of Latino Americans varied greatly in terms of the expected Clinton–Trump vote. Polls with large samples of Latinos, that offered bilingually interviewing and were based on representative sample records of Latinos suggested record low support for Trump. In contrast some national polls that were done in English-only and had small samples of Latinos found higher than expected Latino support for Trump. In this paper, Matt Barreto and Gary Segura, the co-founders of the research and polling firm Latino Decisions explain why polling needs to combine culturally competence and social science to get accurate and reliable estimates of Latino Americans. Looking at the best available data for Latinos, they argue that Trump received a record low 18 per cent support from Latinos, largely due to his anti-immigrant rhetoric which most Latinos found offensive and alienating. As the fastest growing segment of the American electorate, the authors argue more investment is needed to understand and conduct culturally competent outreach to Latinos to further increase their civic engagement.

Keywords: Latino vote, cultural competence, polling methodology, bilingual polling, exit polls, 2016 election

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2017

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  • Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy is the major new peer-reviewed, professional journal dedicated to the advancement of best practice and latest thinking in cultural marketing, incorporating multicultural and cross-cultural marketing. Guided by its Editor, Dr. Jake Beniflah, and an eminent Editorial Board consisting of leading cultural marketing experts, each biannual 100-page issue of Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy provides in-depth, practical articles from leading professionals in the field on innovative strategies, techniques and trends, together with the latest applied research in multicultural and cross-cultural marketing and detailed analysis of how leading brands are managed in today's changing demographic and cultural climate.
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