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‘Hispandering’ Or Engagement?: Democratic Candidates Break Out In Spanish During Debates




Democratic Presidential Candidates, Including Beto O'Rourke and Cory Booker, Speak Spanish During The Debate
Democratic Presidential Candidates, Including Beto O'Rourke and Cory Booker, Speak Spanish During The Debate
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Last week, during the first round of Democratic debates, twenty presidential hopefuls competed for voters’ attention. 

And for some like Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, attempting to capture the attention of Latinx voters meant responding to questions in Spanish. 

While it is clear that the Latinx vote is crucial in winning the 2020 election, the method of pandering to voters by code-switching is a controversial one. 

In past elections, prominent candidates like Hillary Clinton, have been accused of "Hispandering," which some Latinx voters find disingenuous.

Others feel like that candidates speaking in Spanish is a sign that Latinx voters are being acknowledged as an important voter group.

If you are a Latinx voter, we want to hear from you. Did you feel like candidates were pandering when they spoke in Spanish during the most recent Democratic debates? Or did it feel like a sincere attempt to engage voters?

Guest:

Mindy Romero, founder and director of the California Civic Engagement Project (CCEP) and political sociologist at USC