Democratic Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego does not allow his staffers to use the term “Latinx” in official communications, he said Monday, in response to a poll on the term’s frequency of use.
“When Latino politicos use the term it is largely to appease white rich progressives who think that is the term we use. It is a vicious circle of confirmation bias,” he wrote on Twitter in response to a poll finding that only 2% of Latinos use the term to describe themselves. The poll, conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International in November, found that 40% of Latinos were “bothered or offended” by the term, including 20% who were “bothered or offended a lot.”
To be clear my office is not allowed to use “Latinx” in official communications.
When Latino politicos use the term it is largely to appease white rich progressives who think that is the term we use. It is a vicious circle of confirmation bias. https://t.co/kMty6q7UQn
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) December 6, 2021
A similar poll conducted in August found that only 5% of Latinos use the term “Latinx.” That poll found that while the majority of voters did not have a preference on what they were called, they would pick Hispanic if required to choose.
“It will not lose you an election but if your staff and consultants use Latinx in your mass communication it likely means they don’t understand the Latino community and is indicative of deeper problems,” Gallego added.
Republicans are targeting Latino voters with messages about crime and inflation ahead of the 2022 midterms, with National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Rick Scott pinpointing the group as the most important demographic for the GOP in the next elections. Republicans have made gains with Latino voters over the last three presidential election cycles, and won a key mayoral race in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley for the first time since 1997. (RELATED: ‘The Messenger Matters’: Latino Republicans Of Congress Reflect On GOP Gains With Hispanics)
Democrats, on the other hand, are increasingly concerned that support for socialism and the Green New Deal is harming their ability to gain Latino votes.
“If [the GOP’s 2020 inroads with Latinos in south Texas were] not a wake-up call for Democrats, I don’t know what is,” Fabian Núñez, a former speaker of the California state assembly, said in August. “It’s one thing to lose Florida, it’s another thing to lose Latinos in the Southwest. And the lesson here for the Democratic Party is making the long term investment.”