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The Latino Vote May Be Key If Dems Want To Take Back Congress In 2018

If Candidates Want The Latino Vote, They Are Going To Have To Earn It!

As we approach the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th – October 15th), Black Westchester examines the importance of the Latino Vote in the 2018 Midterm and the 2020 Elections.

Democrats and liberals all across America are pinning their hopes on taking back the Senate in the 2018 midterm election, serving as a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency and as a warning shot to Republicans whose campaigns continue to embrace extremist positions.

Check the internet or news outlets like MSNBC and CNN, you hear and see the words “blue wave” embedded in messages decrying Republican positions or celebrating a local Democratic victory. “Blue wave” has morphed into a current catchphrase for those on the left who wish to see Republicans crushed in the midterms.

The Mueller investigation, the Cohen and Manafort convictions, and the growing anti-Trump sentiment and partisan politics might not be the silver bullets. Trump’s approval numbers – while declining – haven’t changed drastically after the convictions. Democrats desperately need to make a comeback after their 2016 losses. But according to a new study, the increasingly sought-after Latino electorate will need much more than sound bites and one-liners to be mobilized.

The study by Latino Decisions, a polling firm known for their independent analysis of Latino public opinion, analyzed the impact of Spanish-language political ads in state-based media markets and compared them to media markets in the same state where such ads were not present.

The firm looked at Spanish-language ads from 2012, 2014 and 2016 elections, and noted that such political ads could lead to an increase in Latino voter turnout, primarily if they are deployed early enough in an election cycle.

The Huffington Post reports, one of the best examples in the study is that of Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, whose consistent Spanish-language advertisements were vital in defeating former Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) in the 2016 race for a U.S. Senate seat in Nevada.

The Nation.com reported, in terms of taking territory from Republicans, the most winnable seats are in Arizona and Nevada, two states with large Latino populations (stemming from the fact that the land on which those states sit used to be part of Mexico, until the United States killed thousands of Mexicans and stole the land in the War of 1848). Hillary Clinton won Nevada in 2016. Arizona was one of the closer contests in the country, with Clinton losing by just 3.5 percent—a margin of 91,000 votes in a state where 600,000 eligible Latinos did not cast ballots in 2016.

The article goes on to say, Texas will be another promising pick-up state—where Latinos have more than enough numbers to toss Ted Cruz from office. Despite his Latino heritage (Cruz is a Cuban American in a state whose Latinos are overwhelmingly Mexican American), Cruz has consistently worked against the interests of the Latino community.

Ted Cruz, whose once-ascendant political career has been derailed by the perfect correlation between the number of people who have heard of him and the number of people who hate his guts, managed to plumb new depths of his own crippling mediocrity, issuing a public request for Donald Trump’s help on the campaign trail in his re-election bid against Beto O’Rourke, GQ Magazine reports.

“I would certainly welcome his support, and I hope to see him in Texas,” Cruz said, making a face that he hoped would betray neither his shame nor his fear to the assembled crowd. “I think we are likely to see the president down in Texas before the election.”

As his lead dwindles, the Texas senator calls on the man who ruined his life, Ted Cruz Allowed the last shred of dignity slip away, in asks Trump for help campaigning which could come back to bite him in his closely contested race.

In his 2016 bookThe Latino Vote: The Future of American Politics, Jorge S Olson writes: the largest states in the country with the most electoral votes and congressional seats are Latino States. Latinos are now the majority in population and when they become of age, the voting majority. How will they vote? How can politicians market to them? First of all, politicians need to understand Latinos, Hispanics, and Mexican-Americans. Without this understanding, there is no influence and no votes.

Understanding the Latino population and its diversity will create better legislation, political campaigns, and even dialog from both parties with each other and with the growing Latino population.

Democrats hoping to attract the support among Hispanic voters for the 2018 midterms as well and 2020 election, have to work harder than they did in the lead-up to the 2016 election. Analysts then widely predicted that opposition to Trump’s rhetoric and bigotry would lead to a spike in Hispanic turnout that would cement a victory for Hillary Clinton. That did not happen. Turnout among Hispanics actually dipped by about 0.4 percentage points in 2016, according to Census data released last year, the lowest showing for Hispanics at the polls since 2004.

Democrats have a good chance to win and win big in this year’s midterms by channeling Latino voters’ anger at President Donald Trump’s immigration and health care agenda, but they must be careful not to take the Latino Vote for granted like they often do with the African-American Vote. They will have to make a concerted effort to mobilize and convince Latinos their vote will mean something, and it’ll take putting up a real fight over DACA – and much more.

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About AJ Woodson (2278 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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