Saturday, June 15, 2024

Hispanic Vote May Have Saved Senate for Democrats

A Washington Post analysis today suggests that the balance of power in the US Senate remains in the hands of the Democrats thanks to Latino voters.

Bucking the national trend, California and Nevada re-elected Democrats.  And, what stands out in these states, is not only the size of their Latino voting populations, it is the organized and aggressive get out the vote ground plan that targeted Latino voters.

Going into Tuesday’s election, California’s two top ticket Democratic candidates, Jerry Brown for Governor and Barbara Boxer for Senate were fighting in close elections. However, their percentage of support from Latinos was overwhelming.  Local groups like CHIRLA Action Fund and the Campaign for Community Change not only registered Hispanics but made sure they got to the polls as well.

In Nevada, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid managed to win with a larger than expected margin of victory thanks in part to an increase in the number of Latino’s voting in his state and a level of support from this voting bloc hovering around 90%.

According to Matt A. Barreto, professor of political science at the University of Washington, the immigration debate helped Reid.  His Republican opponent, Sharron Angle, attacked him on the issue and demonized Latinos in her political ads.  As reported in La Plaza, she also had a well-publicized misstep when she told a group of Latino high school students that they looked “more Asian” to her.

These successes should provide blueprints for the Democratic Party, and others, on what it takes to run a winning Latino vote strategy.