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Searching for the “Sleeping Giant”: Racialized News Coverage of Latinos Pre‐2020 Elections

Sociological Forum

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["\nLatinos are often thought as potential game changers in the political world in the United States. As the media discusses and analyzes the 2016 election and the path to the 2020 elections, narratives on the role of Latinos leading up to the 2020 election have started to emerge. In this article, I seek to examine how U.S. daily newspapers frame the role of Latinos in the 2016 election and leading up to the 2020 elections. Previous literature has focused on the racialized media coverage of African American politicians and the effects of racial priming; however, extant literature has not explored how Latinos are framed in U.S. media when it comes to electoral politics. Using a sample of newspaper articles from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, I found that newspapers largely focus on the demographic changes while operating under various assumptions about those changes. First, newspapers frame Latinos as more likely to vote for a politician if they are Latino. Second, they construct Latinos as a monolithic ethnoracial group that has simplistic interests in immigration. Third, Latino voters and African American voters are often lumped into the same category when discussing mobilization. These narratives continue a tradition of framing Latinos in monolithic ways, while also showing slight departures from previous narratives.\n", "Sociological Forum, Volume 35, Issue S1, Page 1019-1039, September 2020. "]