Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Latino voters want gun violence and mass shootings to be top campaign priorities

Latinos have become increasingly worried about gun violence and mass shootings in recent months, making the issue a top campaign priority for more voters at a time when Latino communities have been targeted in some of the nation’s most high-profile shootings.

Two recent polls of Latino voters show that the number of Latino voters saying mass shootings should be the top issue for Congress and the president has more than doubled in recent months, from just 6 percent in June to 13 percent in September.

In between the two surveys, conducted for Univision by Latino Decisions, was the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that left 22 people dead. Campaigns are now adapting their messages, with Democrats focusing on the link between mass shootings and white nationalism, and President Trump’s ‘s rhetoric.

“We need to call out white supremacy for what it is: domestic terrorism. It poses a threat to Black and Latinx families and to the entire country. Too often, guns are used to provoke fear in communities of color,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, in an email statement to The Hill.

And former Vice President Joe Biden, Warren’s main Democratic rival in the White House race, told audience members at the UnidosUS annual conference in August that white nationalism is fueling the epidemic of violence.”We can’t fix a problem if we refuse to name the problem. Folks, it’s long past time that we in fact call it out for what it is: This is white nationalism. This is white supremacy. This is about hate. This is about what happened in a border community,” added Biden.

Making that link has resonated with Latino voters, who increasingly express fear they could be the next victims of a hate-fueled shooting. According to last month’s Univision poll, 86 percent of Latinos are worried about another mass shooting motivated by racial or ethnic hatred.

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