Date of Degree

6-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Political Science

Advisor

Michael J. Fortner

Subject Categories

American Politics | Other Political Science | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity

Keywords

Latinx politics, social movements, political mobilization, voter turnout, immigration, Arizona

Abstract

Latinx voter turnout in the United States has persisted to remain below White, Black, and Asian Americans. In 2020, county level data shows Latinx turnout reached historic levels in Arizona’s 2020 general election (Pew Research 2020; Census 2020). But throughout the past two decades, Latinx’s in Arizona have faced some of the harshest anti-immigrant policies in the nation. Currently, the literature on Latinx mobilization shows mixed results on the impact of political threats on Latinx turnout (Jones-Correa et al. 2018). Through in depth interviews with Latinx organizational leaders who managed mass mobilization efforts in 2020, this paper explores the role threats had in increasing Latinx voter turnout in Arizona. To do this, interviews were conducted and then coded to examine the most salient narratives behind the growth in Latinx turnout. The results show two strong narratives: resource expansion allowing a threatened community to mobilize effectively, and threats creating a local impetus for building social capital and increasing turnout. These results both extend the literature on Latinx mobilization, provide a descriptive explanation for what happened in Arizona in 2020, and demonstrate the necessity for further research of political threats against Latinx people on a more generalizable scale.

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