Thursday, October 1, 2020

Early Voting Latinos are Key for Clinton in Several States

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A surge in early voting by Latinos is bolstering Hillary Clinton’s prospects in battleground states including Arizona, Florida and Nevada in the closing days of a tightened race against Donald Trump. Fresh election data suggest that the Democratic nominee appears to be benefiting from upticks in participation by Latinos, who historically vote in lower numbers than the electorate overall. The trend, say advocates seeking to expand the Hispanic vote, is largely motivated by distaste for Trump.

“The Trump candidacy and the climate it’s created has really heightened the importance and the personal nature of this election for Latinos,” said Yvanna Cancela, political director of Culinary Workers Union 226, which represents casino workers in Nevada. According to the data firm Catalist, one of the largest increases of early voting by Latinos is taking place in Arizona, a traditionally Republican state that Clinton visited for the first time during the general election on Wednesday.

Significant upticks are also taking place in Nevada and Florida, two other states where a burgeoning Hispanic vote could prove key in determining the outcome. With Latinos accounting for about half of its 57,000 members, the culinary union in Nevada has launched an unprecedented door-knocking and phoning effort to urge members and their neighbors to cast their votes early. In Florida, more Latinos had voted early as of Wednesday than did so during the entire early voting period in 2012, according to the Clinton campaign.

Kaine delivered an entire campaign speech in Spanish on Thursday evening in Phoenix, where he stressed his belief in a brand of inclusive politics that celebrates diversity. He criticized Trump’s controversial rhetoric about immigrants. “For the first time in a long time Arizona is competitive,” Kaine said in Spanish, urging voters to vote early — and immediately after the rally. “The power of the Latino vote can make a big difference in many states, in a historic way.”

In Arizona, Latinos represented 13.2 percent of all early voters as of Tuesday, up from 11 percent at the same point in 2012 and 8.1 percent in 2008. The groups seeking to bolster Latino participation this cycle is the Center for Community Change Action, which has targeted the battleground states of Florida, Nevada and Colorado. Xochitl Hinojosa, a Clinton spokeswoman, said the uptick in Latino early voting includes states with smaller Hispanic populations as well, such as North Carolina and Ohio.

The Washington Post