The growth and significance of the Latino electorate raises important questions about its preferences, identity, and impact. In this essay, I explore three facets of Latino public opinion and offer thoughts regarding their political impact. First, I demonstrate that Latino core beliefs about the role of government are progressive. Second, I explore the ways in which national origin, nativity, and generational status reveal important differences in how Latinos think about and participate in politics; I caution against over-interpreting the importance of these differences. Finally, I offer evidence that Latino panethnic identity is sufficiently developed to constitute a political “group.” Given that this segment in the American electorate is increasingly unified and demonstrably left of center, I suggest that the growth of the Latino population and electorate could have substantial electoral and social impact.

This content is only available as a PDF.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits copying and redistributing the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only. For a full description of the license, please visit