Democracy Works: The Myth Of The "Latino Vote"

Nov 30, 2020

Geraldo Cadava
Credit Northwestern University

he 2020 election left many pundits and pollsters scratching their heads about the increased support for Donald Trump among Latino voters. While these conversations seem new every election cycle, our guest this week argues they are part of a much larger story that goes all the way back to the post-WWII era.

Because of decades of investment and political courtship, as well as a nuanced and varied cultural identity, the Republican party has had a much longer and stronger bond with Hispanics. How is this possible for a party so associated with draconian immigration and racial policies?

Geraldo Cadava is a professor of History and Latina and Latino Studies at Northwestern University. He received a Ph.D. in History from Yale University in 2008, and he received a B.A., also in History, from Dartmouth College in 2000. His areas of expertise are Latino History, the United States-Mexico Borderlands, Latin American immigration to the United States, and American politics.

Geraldo Cadava is a professor of History and Latina and Latino Studies at Northwestern University. His book,"The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity from Nixon to Trump," examines little-understood history of Hispanic Americans with a cultural study of how post–World War II Republican politicians actively courted the Hispanic vote.

In the book and in this interview, Cadava offers insight into the complicated dynamic between Latino liberalism and conservatism, which, when studied together, shine a crucial light on a rapidly changing demographic that will impact American elections for years to come.