Thursday, March 21, 2019

Democrats say investment in Latino community paid off

Democrats say a $30 million investment to engage with Latino and other minority voters helped the party achieve a net gain of 34 House seats and improve on 2014 turnout numbers.

“Latino voters played a pivotal role in taking back the House,” Rep. Ben Lujan told reporters during a conference call organized by the political action committee Latino Victory. “Evidence is clear: Early and active and robust outreach to communities of color — in this case, into the Hispanic community — clearly pays off.”

Latino participation surged 174 percent in 2018, compared to the 2014 midterms, according to Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Lujan, the first Latino to head the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the effort included an investment of at least $21 million in Latino candidates. His office also launched the first multi-state Spanish-language TV ad the final week before the election.

The Democrats targeted 111 Republican House congressional districts, 29 of which had at least a 10 percent Latino electorate. Dan Sena, the DCCC executive director, said the polling company Latino Decisions conducted nationwide focus groups to better identify the needs of Latino voters and tailor a message.

The Latino community will have a record level of representation on Capitol Hill with at least 42 members: 34 Democrats and eight Republicans in both chambers. One House race featuring a Latino candidate, Gil Cisneros in California, has yet to be decided.

CBS NEWS