REPORT: Ideology And Partisanship On Univision's Al Punto

The vast majority of guests who appeared on Univision's Sunday show, Al Punto, in the first few months of 2015 had no political affiliation. Among the roughly one-third who did, 21 were elected or administration officials, while 23 were pundits. Democratic elected or administration officials outnumbered Republicans, but a greater number of conservative pundits were brought on the show to provide political commentary than progressive ones.

From December 21, 2014 to May 17, 2015, Media Matters analyzed the guests invited to appear on Al Punto, a Sunday interview show on Univision, America's largest Spanish-language network. Sunday TV interview shows can wield major influence with other media and political agendas, and Media Matters has previously analyzed ideology and partisanship on other major U.S. network and cable Sunday political talk shows.

This report examines the ideological and partisan makeup of guests who appeared on Al Punto during roughly the first quarter of this year.

The Neutral Majority On Al Punto

A Two-Thirds Majority Of Guests On Al Punto Were Not Politically Affiliated. Media Matters designated every guest who appeared on the show as either “progressive,” “conservative,” or “neutral.” The data showed that out of a total of 120 guests, 76 (63 percent) were either “neutral” (non-partisan) or non-Americans, whose political leanings we chose not to analyze.


Only About A Third Of Al Punto Guests Were Politically Aligned. Because Al Punto covers a wide array of topics that span Latin American cultural and policy issues, many of its guests are foreign and therefore could not be placed on the American political spectrum. Only 37 percent of all guests could be fairly designated either “progressive,” or “conservative.”

The Ideological Breakdown Of Politically-Aligned Guests On Al Punto

Most Of Elected Or Administration Officials Were Democratic. Twenty-one of the politically-aligned guests were elected politicians or White House officials, and of those, 16 people were Democrats and five were Republican.

Conservatives Made Up The Majority Of Political Pundits Brought On. Media Matters looked at a breakdown of the guests identified as political pundits -- private citizens affiliated with a political party --  and found that out of a total of 23 guests invited on the basis of their political inclination, 14 were conservative.


Media Matters studied every guest appearance on Univision's Al Punto from December 21, 2014 through May 17, 2015. The start date was chosen to correspond with the 2016 presidential race, which we calculated began when former Florida Governor Jeb Bush announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a potential White House bid.

Guests appearing on the program were given codes that identified them as either Obama administration officials, elected officials, pundits, or foreign, and were also identified by partisanship or ideology. 

These classifications do not represent an analysis of what guests actually said when they appeared on a show on a given date. Coding each guest's comments for their ideological slant would have introduced enormous difficulties and opportunities for subjectivity. Instead, we simply classified guests based on their own ideological self-identification or public affiliation with an openly partisan or ideological organization or institution.

In the vast majority of cases, guests were clearly identifiable by their party or ideology (or their lack of either). Of course, in a few instances, these decisions were not clear cut. In those instances, we constructed rules that could be applied as strictly as possible. Below are some of the principal rules Media Matters used to classify guests:

  • Party designations (Democratic and Republican) were reserved for current and former officeholders, candidates, campaign staff, political consultants associated with either party, and Obama administration officials. All others were given a more general label of “conservative,” “progressive,” or “neutral”. 

  • We applied the label “pundits” to all private individuals whose political ideology could be clearly identifiable, or were identified as “strategists” or “analysts” by the show. 

  • The “neutral” category does not necessarily imply strict ideological neutrality but, rather, might better be understood as “neutral/centrist/nonpartisan” -- we use the term “neutral” for the sake of brevity.

  • We labeled foreign nationals who appeared as “neutral” -- even though the political ideology of some might be identifiable -- to avoid making a subjective judgment about the politics of other countries.