Sunday, January 20, 2019

Study reveals that young Latino voters will be key in Texas

As Americans prepare to head to the ballot box for midterm elections on November 6, a new study found that young Latinos are set to become one of the most important voting blocs in Texas.

Published by the Jolt Initiative, a Texas-based nonprofit, the report concludes that Latinos, who make up nearly 40 percent of the state’s population, are largely underrepresented in state politics owing to low voter turnoput, a lack of trust in politicians and other barriers to electoral participation.

Titled We Are Texas: An Analysis of Young Latino Voters in the Lone Star State, the report predicts that Latinos will constitute the state’s largest ethnic group by 2022. “With some of the lowest voter registration and participation rates in the country, Texas faces real barriers to building a healthy and strong democracy,” it states, explaining that “the strength of our democracy will be determined in large part by engaging young Latinos”.

With midterms weeks away, Texas is home to several heated races, including incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s race against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, who has campaigned on immigration reform that prioritizes a “fair path to citizenship” for millions of immigrants in the country.

The report, based on surveys with 1,016 Latinos, shows that 32 percent of Latino interviewees prefer the Democrats, while only 13 percent support the Republicans. Among the most important electoral issues for young Latinos, according to the study, are healthcare for all, a legal pathway to citizenship for immigrants and racial equality.

AL JAZEERA