Sunday, November 17, 2019

Election Day: 2010 Midterm Elections and the Latino Vote

For the past several months La Plaza has been closely following the developments and attention surrounding the Latino vote in what will go down in history as the most expensive midterm elections to date.  We have covered everything from the earnest efforts of several civic groups to turn out this voting bloc on Election Day to the various polls and reports attempting to analyze these voters to the “Don’t Vote” ad by the conservative Latinos for Reform group. 

Never before have Latinos stood to play such a large role in the outcome of several key elections in battleground states.  One report by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) estimated that up to one million more Latinos will cast their ballots in tomorrow’s midterm elections than did in the 2006 midterm elections.  It is yet to be seen if Latino voters will actually turn out to the polls tomorrow, but if they do, this group may very well decide which way the balance of power will swing to in both chambers of Congress. 

And while another poll revealed that Latinos favor the Democratic party overall, ironically, it now seems that it is the Republican party that will shine the brightest tomorrow when it comes to Hispanic elected officials.  It is expected that several GOP Hispanic candidates will carry the day in several statewide elections across the nation, while a few Hispanic Democrats are fighting to keep their congressional seats in hotly contested races. 

 Nevada

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is fighting off a challenge from Republican Sharron Angle, who has not won any favor with Hispanics after airing an ad heavily criticized by several Latino groups, including the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) who called it “anti-Hispanic.” Republican Brian Sandoval, a former federal judge, is likely to make history tomorrow as the state’s first Hispanic governor.

California

California has one of the largest number of Latino voters in the country, thus former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has spent a historical sum of money courting the Latino vote there but Democrat Jerry Brown still leads her in the polls going into tomorrow’s gubernatorial elections due in part to revelations that Whitman knowingly employed an undocumented immigrant as her housekeeper but fired her when she was preparing to run for office.

Incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer is also locked in a tight battle with Republican opponent Carly Fiorina for her seat.

Colorado

The Hispanic vote may also make the difference in this Senate race where Sen. Michael Bennett, the incumbent Democrat, is in an extremely tight race against Republican and Tea Party-favored Ken Buck and third party candidate Tom Tancredo.

New Mexico

Attorney and Republican Susana Martinez may emerge as the country’s first Latina governor after tomorrow in New Mexico. Martinez is the favorite over Democratic opponent Diane Denish.

Texas

Rep. Ciro Rodriguez and Rep. Solomon Ortiz, both Democrats, are also fighting to stave off challenges from Republican opponents in tight races in a year that has been tough for incumbents. A Rodriguez loss would mean the addition of a Hispanic Republican in Congress.

Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor, Linda Chavez-Thompson, is a national labor leader looking to make history in the state by ousting incumbent Republican David Dewhurst.

Florida

Republican and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio is expected to come out on top in Florida’s three-way Senate race against Democrat Kendrick Meeks and Independent Charlie Christ. Many already view him as a superstar for the Republican party.

In the Miami area an open congressional seat is giving the Democrats an opportunity to pick up a seat with former Obama administration official, Joe Garcia, who is running against Republican David Rivera.

Arizona

No surprises here for Republican Gov. Jan Brewer who is up for reelection and is expected to easily win this race.

However, Rep. Raul Grijalva, an incumbent Democrat from the Tucson area is facing the political battle of his life as he fights for his congressional seat against Republican Tea Party candidate Ruth McClung, who has attacked Grijalva over his support for a boycott to object to the passage of SB 1070.