Understanding the politics of your public

Len-Ríos, M. E. (2015, March). Understanding the politics of your public: The political views of young Hispanics and their 2016 voting intentions. Presented to the International Public Relations Research Conference, Miami.

Abstract: Hispanics, or Latinos, are the largest U.S. minority group and are poised to play a key role in U.S. elections. Public relations practitioners who work in politics should be interested in what motivates young Latinos to participate in politics. This study reports the findings of a national non probability online survey conducted in July 2015 with young Latinos (N=434). Specifically, the analysis explores how individual variables, sociocultural variables, and media use predict Latinos’ perceptions of the importance of immigration reform, political participation, and intention to vote in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Findings show that level of acculturation relates significantly only to Latinos’ perceptions of the importance of immigration reform and not with vote intention or political participation. After taking into account the level of acculturation and social conservatism among Latinos, using hierarchical multiple regression, watching Fox TV cable news and reading English-language newspapers predicted that Latinos would be less likely to view immigration reform as an important issue. Intention to vote was best predicted by participants’ level of political interest, social conservatism, and level of education. Implications for political public relations practitioners and their communications with young Latinos are discussed.

María E. Len-Ríos 

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