Latino Decisions’ Matt Barreto & Gary Segura Share Key Findings from Forthcoming Book on the Latino Electorate

Ahead of next week’s release of Latino America: How America’s Most Dynamic Population is Poised to Transform the Politics of the Nation, Latino Decisions’ co-founders gave interviews to MSNBC and The New Republic. Dr. Matt Barreto and Dr. Gary Segura provide key insights into the Latino electorate and other findings from their forthcoming book, Latino America: How America’s Most Dynamic Population is Poised to Transform the Politics of the Nation.

Here are excerpts from the interview between Benjy Sarlin and Dr. Matt Barreto, titled “How Latinos are Transforming American Politics:”

Benjy Sarlin: “A number of Latino activists have argued that President Obama is alienating Latino voters by reneging on a promise to reform deportation procedures before the election. Is there a danger of Democrats losing Latino voters even if Republicans keep moving right on immigration, or do Latinos just have no place to go?”

Dr. Matt Barreto: “I think that’s the most important question that the political parties and strategists need to be grappling with: What happens to Latino voters if the Democratic Party seems to be ignoring Latinos at times, then coming back to them at other times, and the Republican Party continues to push them away. What we suggest is that it’s going to be mostly felt by rates of civic incorporation. So whether you measure it by rates of voter registration, turnout, campaign donations, willingness to volunteer, you’ll probably see a plateau or even a decline in Latino interest in politics if one party is perceived as ignoring Latinos and the other party is perceived as being hostile. We don’t expect that they’ll move to the GOP in large numbers, because the Republicans have not been good on this. But if the Democrats continue to be perceived as ignoring Latinos, it does continue to leave the door open to Republicans.”

An excerpt from an interview in The New Republic between Juan David Romero and Dr. Gary Segura:

Juan David Romero: “What is one of the most striking and surprising demographic changes affecting Latinos?”

Dr. Gary Segura: “There are two really striking changes, one political and one social. The political change is that Latinos are highly more Democratic than they were just ten years ago. About 40 percent of Latinos voted for George W. Bush. Historically, about one-third of Latinos do not vote Democrat. In the last two presidential and congressional elections, we’ve been getting Democratic numbers in the 70 to 75 percent range. … The social change is the sense of pan-ethnicity. Back in the 1990s, relatively few Latinos thought of themselves in the Latino or Hispanic category and instead thought of themselves as Mexican or Puerto Rican or Cuban. What has happened since is that a huge percentage of Latinos now identify with the pan-ethnic term. … Over one-third say that it is their primary identity, that they put that before their national origin.”

About Latino America and its co-authors: Dr. Barreto and Dr. Segura’s forthcoming book, Latino America: How America’s Most Dynamic Population is Poised to Transform the Politics of the Nation, is scheduled for release on September 30th by PublicAffairs and is receiving rave reviews.

  • Anchor of Univision News, and one of the country’s foremost Latino voices, Jorge Ramos, said, “If you want to get to know us, Hispanics, first read Latino America.”
  • Publishers Weekly said, “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.”
  • Kirkus Reviews wrote, “A pertinent, useful study of significant trends in the American political landscape.”

To schedule an interview Matt Barreto or Gary Segura, please contact Chris Juby at 212-340-8179 or