Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date

Spring 2023


Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, College of


Political Science, Department of

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


How does the Spanish language affect the American electoral landscape? As the Spanish-speaking populace grows, candidates utilize the language to appeal to a wider range of voters, leveraging new media in a bilingual capacity to improve their electoral odds. While one might imagine that all high-profile candidates would be quick to communicate in Spanish, many failed to do so in the 2022 midterm elections. This paper argues that Spanish use, particularly in online campaign media, is positively related to candidates’ electoral performance. However, a distinction between the Latino population and the greater population is anticipated, with Latino voters responding more positively to candidates’ Spanish use than the general electorate. The potentially alienating effect of Spanish communication for non-Spanish speakers may contribute to this disparity, but its impact is expected to be minimal in online campaign communication.