The minority of Latinos who saw the group as people of color were more liberal in their views regarding government and the economy, and strongly preferred Democratic messages to the dog-whistle message. For the majority of Latinos, however, the standard Democratic frames tied or lost to the racial fear message. In other words, Mr. Trump’s competitiveness among Latinos is real.
But our research also suggests good news. There’s a winning message Mr. Biden and his party can deliver that resonates with most Hispanics no matter how they conceptualize the group’s racial identity.
The key is to link racism and class conflict. The pivot we recommend was also the most convincing message we tested among whites and African-Americans.
Democrats should call for Americans to unite against the strategic racism of powerful elites who stoke division and then run the country for their own benefit. This is not to deny the reality of pervasive societal racism. But it does direct attention away from whites in general and toward the powerful elites who benefit from divide-and-conquer politics.