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.
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.