How young Latinos’ online and TV habits offer political clues for 2022

Greetings from your co-host Leah Askarinam. Blake Hounshell is absent this week. We have a piece tonight from our colleague Jazmine Ulloa, reporting on a new analysis of the media habits of young Latinos.

Online misinformation has hit Latino communities hard ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

It came in the form of videos, tweets and WhatsApp messages, YouTube videos and rants from radio hosts in Spanish. It included false reports of widespread violence on the streets of Democratic cities following the murder of George Floyd, QAnon conspiracy theories and exaggerated claims of terrorists and criminals crossing the US-Mexico border.

As the most egregious material spread online — and in the private text channels of young Latinos’ tías and tíos — organizers from United We Dream Action, an immigrant rights organization founded and run by young immigrants , entered the fray. The group trained members to provide accurate information to family and friends and to create shareable content on social media platforms aimed at dispelling anti-immigrant and anti-Black narratives.

Now, with the midterm months of 2022 approaching and the two parties jostling for the votes of one of the most crucial swing groups in American politics, the organization today released a report that further explores Latinos’ online engagement with material on immigration. Long exploited by bad actors on the web, the contentious issue is widely expected to be central to elections across the country.

The Immigrant Advocacy Network partnered with Harmony Labs, a nonprofit research group in New York City, to study the TV and online viewing habits of more than 20,000 Latinos nationwide who agreed to share their data from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, 2021. Latinos over 36 were more likely to encounter polarizing anti-immigrant narratives than other cohorts, the analysis found, mostly via right-wing news sites, television and YouTube.

He also found an interesting gender divide among young Latinos.

The analysis found that Latinas between the ages of 18 and 35 tapped into a wider variety of news and entertainment sources than their older counterparts and were more likely to seek out stories not just about immigration politics, but also on immigrants and the immigrant experience.

Their search queries and content consumption were curious and community-driven, reflecting “a desire to understand and engage with the people and world around them,” according to the results.

But Latino men of the same age range were very different. Respondents tended to inhabit “a very insular virtual world,” the researchers said. Many young Latino men have spent much of their time online playing anime and fantasy games, and have not absorbed much immigration or immigrant media at all, whether they are positive or negative. When they did consume content about immigration, it was usually about politics and came from conservative sources.

Beyond that, their news consumption choices tend to be more individualistic and entrepreneurial. Of 45,000 articles read by Latinos in the first nine months of 2021, only two topics seemed to capture the attention of a large number of young Latino men: the amateurs who drove GameStop stock up and Covid-related school closures.

Young Latinos and Latinas showed less interest in politics, and for young men, the main “political” personalities were influencers who discuss a wide variety of cultural topics and belong to all political backgrounds: Philip DeFranco , Joe Rogan and Mr. Beast.

The lack of political information for young Latino men, coupled with their desire for economic stability and penchant for individualism, is likely to make this group more susceptible to right-wing anti-immigrant narratives and misinformation in the future, the groups concluded.

It uniquely positions young Latino men for negative arguments “that there isn’t enough for them and someone else is taking their opportunity,” said Juanita Monsalve, senior director of marketing and creation for United We Dream Action. But it also creates an opportunity to step in with a counter-message, she added.

“We have this research to understand how to create culturally appropriate content and appear in the spaces where they want to consume it,” Monsalve said.

The report’s findings follow previous research on the political leanings of Latinos — and they add to the emerging picture of how these voters are newly up for grabs.

Latinos in general tend to lean towards the Democrats, but in 2020 Donald Trump has improved his performance among these voters in some parts of the country, and with working-class Latino men in particular, by centering his message on the economy.

Young Latinas are likely to be more liberal than their male peers and are more concerned about social justice and equity issues such as racism, immigration and climate change.

More young Latino men voted for Trump in 2020 than they did in 2016, but whether Republicans will continue to win support among the population “is an open question,” said Vladimir Enrique Medenica, assistant professor at the University of Delaware and director of the survey. research as part of the University of Chicago’s GenForward Project, which surveys voters between the ages of 18 and 36.

What is known, he said, is that many are not interested in politics, or identify as independents or are not affiliated with any of the major political parties. This is partly because many feel estranged from politics and unrepresented by either party.

Many also face greater barriers to college education and economic opportunity, both of which help shape people’s political views and can be particularly important to the process of politicizing second-generation Latinos, whose parents have immigrated to the United States and who may not have developed a strong attachment to Democrats or Republicans, Medenica said.

In Florida, where Spanish-speaking hosts have amplified anti-Black narratives and exaggerated claims of voter fraud, Republicans saw an opening to attract more young Latino men via YouTube and social media, said Andrea Cristina Mercado, executive director of Florida Rising, a racial justice organization focused on political empowerment for marginalized communities.

For example, she pointed out an advertisement released last month by Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida featuring Cuban-Peruvian UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal.

To counter any political messages that this election cycle was intended to sow racism, division, or voter confusion, Mercado’s group relied on “promotoras de la verdad,” Latino organizers who serve as “warriors of the truth” and surveyed households to combat misinformation on the issues. including the coronavirus, vaccines, Florida’s recently passed law limiting classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity, and upcoming midterm exams.

“Latin women are organizing to take up the narrative and misinformation that plagues our community,” Mercado said. But they can’t do it alone, she added.

how they run

David McCormick had tried to portray himself to Pennsylvania voters as the Republican most aligned with Donald Trump during his Senate primary.

So what will he do now that Trump has endorsed his main rival, Mehmet Oz?

“There’s no pivot,” said Jim Schultz, an informal adviser to McCormick’s campaign who previously served as Trump’s White House attorney.

After Trump’s endorsement, McCormick’s campaign triggered what it said was a six-figure ad buy for a new ad, showing Oz praising Hillary Clinton and Anthony Fauci and dancing with Michelle Obama. The ad labels Oz as “Pro China”, “Pro Transgender Children”, and “Anti Gun”.

The competition for Trump’s blessing had been fierce, with McCormick trying to argue that Oz’s Turkish background was a weakness. Dina Powell McCormick, McCormick’s wife and a former Trump White House official, reportedly told Trump that Oz’s Muslim faith would be a political liability in parts of Pennsylvania.

But McCormick and his allies are now moving slowly, showing respect to Trump while taking aim at the very candidate he endorsed.

“President Trump’s endorsement is definitely a big deal,” McCormick said in a radio interview Monday. “But I think the big problem is that Mehmet is not a conservative or an America-first conservative.”

The conservative backlash to Trump, the former star of “The Dr. Oz Show,”‘s endorsement of Oz was immediate.

Dave Ball, Chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, said Tuesday, “In this area, President Trump is very popular. Dave McCormick is very popular. But Dr. Oz is not very popular. He has very little support.

Sean Parnell, the original Trump-backed nominee who dropped out of the race after abuse charges, also criticized the decision, tweeting that Oz was “the furthest thing from America First and it would be very bad for PA.”

McCormick’s campaign launched its own bid to endorse a big name: Rick Santorum, a former state senator whose conservative platform and sweater vests helped him ingratiate himself among voters conservatives in the 2012 presidential race.

– Horrible

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