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Trump confrontation, immigration debate put spotlight on Spanish-language media, professor says

Thursday, August 27, 2015

LAWRENCE — Tuesday's news conference confrontation between GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos put a spotlight on Spanish-language media's potential role in the 2016 election.

Republican leaders have expressed trepidation about Trump alienating Spanish-language media, as for years the party has courted Latino voters — a fast-growing bloc of the electorate — as a record 25.2 million Hispanic voters were eligible to cast ballots in the 2014 election.

A University of Kansas expert on Latinos in U.S. politics is available to discuss the significance of Spanish-language media in the presidential primary and general election.

Christina Bejarano, associate professor of political science, focuses on women and Latinos in U.S. electoral politics, both their voting trends and political candidates. She has written two books: "The Latino Advantage: Gender, Race and Political Success" and "The Latino Gender Gap in U.S. Politics."

She said because Ramos is such a popular news anchor and figure in the Latino community, Tuesday's events will likely have a lasting effect on the race.

"Spanish-language media has a huge influence on Latinos," Bejarano said. "So it is not wise for Trump to continue to alienate and attack them."

To schedule an interview with Bejarano, contact George Diepenbrock, gdiepenbrock@ku.edu, or 785-864-8853.