Democrats attempted to launch efforts to reach Latino voters in a gender-neutral way by using the term ‘Latinx,” which was first started to gain traction among left-leaning academics and activists. A new poll suggests that only a small fraction of those questioned actually refer to themselves as Latinx.
The poll was conducted by top Democratic firm Bendixen & Amandi International from November 17 through November 21 of this year and included 800 interviews with “registered voters of Hispanic/Latina(o) origin” who are residing in the United States.
Results show that just 2 percent of respondents actually refer to themselves as Latinx, as 68 percent call themselves “Hispanic,” and 21 percent use “Latino” or “Latina” to describe their ethnic background.
What could be problematic for Democrats is that 40 percent of those polled said the term Latinx bothers them to some degree, whether that be “a lot,” “somewhat,” or “a little.” 30 percent of respondents also said they would be less likely to support a candidate or organization that uses the so-called gender-neutral term.
Fernand Amandi, whose firm was successful in advising Barack Obama’s nationwide Hispanic outreach, spoke to the results of the poll: “The numbers suggest that using Latinx is a violation of the political Hippocratic Oath, which is to first do no electoral harm.” He added, “Why are we using a word that is preferred by only 2 percent but offends as many as 40 percent of those voters we want to win?”
As Republicans seem to be making an impact on Latino voters, Amandi emphasized that he was not blaming the decrease in Latino support for Democrats solely on the use of the term Latinx. He said that Hispanic voters have been shifting right primarily because Republicans have engaged with them more aggressively and have “weaponized culture war issues at the margins with Hispanic voters.”
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES
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