Publication Date

Fall 12-4-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in History & Political Thought, Political Science Concentration (MA)


Political Science

Committee Chair

Dr. Simon Zschirnt

Committee Member

Dr. James Norris

Committee Member

Dr. Deborah Blackwell

Committee Member

Dr. Nilda Garcia


This thesis studies political rhetoric and Latino public opinion on abortion in the United States. Mainly, this thesis asks: Is political rhetoric on abortion shaping the Latino vote? This thesis conducted a content analysis of political rhetoric through speeches, interviews, debates, political advertisements, and social media accounts from Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates. The gubernatorial races studied in this thesis are those from California and Texas from 2010 to 2022. In the content analysis, this research accounted for words and phrases that referenced abortion and the type of arguments (reproductive rights-based and moral-based arguments) made in those references. Then, this study compared political rhetoric with the relative Democratic lean of the Latino vote. This thesis expected the relative Democratic lean of the Latino vote to decrease as the Republican Party increased its abortion references (H1) and moral-based arguments on abortion (H2). Ultimately, this study found support for H1 in only Texas while finding support for H2 in Texas and California. However, this study found that Texas Democrats politicized the issue more than their Republican counterparts. In other words, Republicans did not prioritize abortion as much as Democrats, and yet, the relative Democratic lean of the Latino vote has still decreased or, rather, has become less Democratic since 2010.