2020 Post-Mortem (Part Two): The American Dream Voter


  1. The debate over whether to prioritize the economy or public health in the middle of COVID — a debate that became, for some, about the value of hard work and the American Dream — eclipsed the issues that held some Hispanic voters back from supporting Trump in 2016, giving these formerly hesitant Latinos the “permission” they needed to embrace Trump’s re-election.
  2. Movement toward Trump coincided with one-sided attention lavished on key topics (e.g. reopening the economy) and geographies (e.g. South TX/South FL). The moral of the story: uncontested communication and voters feeling unheard had, as always, a major impact.
  3. Campaigns, policy action, and media all mattered greatly. Less-partisan Latinos are navigating their identities and values in ways that don’t always map out neatly on the political spectrum and aren’t always consistent. That makes campaigns and communication all the more impactful. On that note, few of the opinions or dynamics we include in this report are static — they can also be shaped by parties going forward.


I. The economy unlocked a door

II. The socialism attack broke through

III. Race mattered (but not in the ways popularly imagined)

IV. One-sided communication enabled bigger movement

V. Stories left to be told

VI. The 2020 moment hasn’t ended

VII. A study guide

VII. Video homework

VIII. Parting charts




Creating a better understanding of the Latino electorate

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Creating a better understanding of the Latino electorate

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