Minority Miss: Hispanics And Asians Less Likely To Be Contacted By Political Campaigns

Despite their need for minority votes, political campaigns targeted White voters over any other group during the recent election cycle, according to a study by Pew Research Center. 

Overall, 84% of citizens eligible to vote were contacted by a campaign or a group supporting a candidate in one of six ways in the month prior to the November election. 

That included 87% of White voters, 82% of Blacks, 75% of Hispanics and 74% of Asians. 

Among those who voted, roughly 90% said a campaign reached out to them.   

Direct mail was the most widely used channel — 69% were sent printed mail pieces or flyers, with 73% of Whites receiving them, compared to 67% of Blacks, 57% of Hispanics and 56% of Asians. 

Text messages were second, received by 56% overall. And emails were sent to 53%. But here, too, there was a disparity.

Of those polled, 56% of White voters received emails in the month prior to the election. In contrast, 48% of Hispanic voters were sent emails, 50% of Black voters and 42% of Asian voters.



Text messages were perhaps more equitable in one way — 59% of Black voters got them, versus 56% of Whites, 54% of Hispanics and 51% of Asians. 

At the same time, 42% received a prerecorded phone call, with 46% of Whites receiving them, along with 40% of Blacks, 37% of Hispanics and 32% of Asians.  

Potential voters were much less likely to be visited at their homes — only 11% did overall, with Whites slightly above average. 

But it depended largely on geography — with 93% of citizens living in battleground states experienced at least one contact, compared to 80% in non-battleground states. 
Meanwhile, 87% of Democrats and Democratic-learning independents were contacted, along with 85% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. 

Among Trump voters, 61% received emails, as did 60% of Biden voters. However, 67% of Trump voters received text messages, compared to 60% of Biden voters.  

Pew continues that Americans voted in record numbers, casting 158.4 million ballots: Turnout was 7% higher than it was in 2016.  

However, the study adds that Hispanic and Asian voting turnout usually trails that of eligible White and Black voters despite the fact that those groups make up a growing share of the electorate.  

Here were a few other qualifiers: 

  • 91% of individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher were contacted, in contrast to 81% with some college or less.  
  • 90% of people ages 50 and older were  contacted, compared to 79% of those in the 18-49 age category. 
  • 83% of men were contacted, and 85% of women. 

Pew surveyed U.S. adults from November 12-17, 2020. 


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