Cover image for Latino America : how America's most dynamic population is poised to transform the politics of the nation
Latino America : how America's most dynamic population is poised to transform the politics of the nation
Barreto, Matt A., author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : PublicAffairs, [2014]
Physical Description:
vi, 286 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Latino America: an introduction -- Understanding Latinos and their place in the polity. Unity and diversity ; Ronald Reagan was wrong ; Now you see us, now you don't -- Latinos at the polls, 2008-2012. The 2008 Democratic primary ; November 2008 ; What the GOP victory in 2010 has to say about Latino political power ; A "decisive voting bloc" in 2012 -- The Latino agenda. The Prop 187 effect ; Immigration politics and the 2014 election ; Obamacare from the Latino perspective ; Latino environmental attitudes ; Some final thoughts.
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Call Number
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Item Holds
E184.S75 B367 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Sometime in April 2014, somewhere in a hospital in California, a Latino child tipped the demographic scales as Latinos displaced non-Hispanic whites as the largest racial/ethnic group in the state. So, one-hundred-sixty-six years after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo brought the Mexican province of Alta California into the United States, Latinos once again became the largest population in the state. Surprised? Texas will make the same transition sometime before 2020.

When that happens, America's two most populous states, carrying the largest number of Electoral College votes, will be Latino. New Mexico is already there. New York, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada are shifting rapidly. Latino populations since 2000 have doubled in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and South Dakota. The US is undergoing a substantial and irreversible shift in its identity.

So, too, are the Latinos who make up these populations. Matt Barreto and Gary M. Segura are the country's preeminent experts in the shape, disposition, and mood of Latino America. They show the extent to which Latinos have already transformed the US politically and socially, and how Latino Americans are the most buoyant and dynamic ethnic and racial group, often in quite counterintuitive ways. Latinos' optimism, strength of family, belief in the constructive role of government, and resilience have the imminent potential to reshape the political and partisan landscape for a generation and drive the outcome of elections as soon as 2016.

Author Notes

Dr. Matt Barreto and Dr. Gary M. Segura are widely published scholars, researchers, and professors at the University of Washington and Stanford University, respectively. They are the founders of Latino Decisions, a leading public opinion and research firm that specializes in issues pertinent to the Latino electorate. Their work is regularly cited by Univision, the New York Times , ABC News, National Public Radio, impreMedia, NBC News, the Wall Street Journal , CNN, and many others.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Few demographic changes have exercised the American political mind as much as the inexorable rise of Latino America, and Barreto and Segura's masterful work of social science is a clear and sober-minded analyses of this complex subject. As cofounders of the nonpartisan research firm Latino Decisions, they use their expertise to corral mountains of data into a coherent narrative about the Latino influence on U.S. politics. Purely as a statistical resource, the book is invaluable, but it shines brightest when addressing-and refuting- received wisdom, such as that Latinos are "single issue voters" and a "naturally conservative" constituency ripe for Republican appeals. Bolstered with contributions from other Latino Decisions analysts, Barreto and Segura add nuance and context to an often one-sided discussion. Their topics include the effect of religiosity on voting patterns, and the history of how California became a reliably Democratic bastion. The book is particularly illuminating toward the complex role played by immigration politics. It does occasionally suffer from stale writing, but Barreto and Segura's lucid analysis is worth the price of admission. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Barreto (political science, Univ. of Washington; Ethnic Cues) and Segura (political science, Stanford Univ.) are the founders of Latino Decisions, a Latino public opinion research firm. Most chapters are written with other researchers who help make the argument that we will likely see greater Latino influence in politics in coming years. The authors point first to some compelling factors that do and do not influence Latino participation in politics: they value self-reliance yet welcome government programs where needed, and religion plays less of a role in their views of candidates than may be thought, given their perceived social conservatism. The Iraq War, the economy, and both state and national immigration legislation played significant roles in persuading key segments of the community to vote in 2008, and-for the first time in history-provided a margin of victory in a presidential election in 2012. VERDICT The text is a bit dry, as the data cited often reflects the kind of research one might expect from founders of a public opinion research firm. Readers will nonetheless appreciate the generous number of bar graphs and charts that accompany the narrative where data analysis appears. The book will be of interest to general readers of current ethnic political trends. Recommended.-Jeffrey J. Dickens, Southern Connecticut State Univ. Libs., New Haven (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Pulling together demographic data, survey data, and in-depth interviews, Barreto (Univ. of Washington) and Segura (Stanford Univ.) weave a complex, detailed picture of the multifaceted nature of Latino public opinion and political behavior. The authors explore the competing issues of the diversity of the Latino community and the growing sense of Latino identity that bridges those differences. They dispel myths about the underlying conservatism of Latinos, showing them instead to be liberal pragmatists. Of particular interest to those looking forward to 2016, they trace the growing political power of Latinos from California in the 1990s to the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012, including warnings about the need by Republicans in particular to pay heed to the lessons learned in California about the pitfalls of xenophobia and anti-immigrant rhetoric. They also explore non-participation of Latinos and survey-based insights into what might increase the voice of Latinos at the polls. Finally, they explore Latino issue positions, including (of course) immigration but also environmental politics and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). A strong introduction to the topic, yet detailed enough for use in graduate-level classes, Latino America is a great base for empirically based conversations about current and future American politics. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, and graduate students. --Melissa R Michelson, Menlo College

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Latino America: An Introductionp. 1
Part I Understanding Latinos and Their Place in the Polityp. 11
Chapter 2 Unity and Diversityp. 13
Chapter 3 Ronald Reagan Was Wrongp. 33
Chapter 4 Now You See Us, Now You Don'tp. 53
Part II Latinos at the Polls, 2008-2012p. 77
Chapter 5 The 2008 Democratic Primaryp. 79
Chapter 6 November 2008p. 93
Chapter 7 What the GOP Victory in 2010 has to Say about Latino Political Powerp. 127
Chapter 8 A "Decisive Voting Bloc" in 2012p. 145
Part III The Latino Agendap. 171
Chapter 9 The Prop 187 Effectp. 173
Chapter 10 Immigration Politics and the 2014 Electionp. 189
Chapter 11 Obamacare from the Latino Perspectivep. 205
Chapter 12 Latino Environmental Attitudesp. 217
Chapter 13 Some Final Thoughtsp. 231
Acknowledgmentsp. 235
Appendixp. 239
Notesp. 247
Bibliographyp. 259
Indexp. 277