Friday, July 19, 2024

Hispanic Vote May Have Saved Senate for Democrats

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

California and Nevada, bucking the national trend, elected Democrats.  And, while both states not only have sizeable Latino voting populations, they also had organized aggressive get out the vote efforts targeting Latino voters.

Going into Tuesday’s election, California’s two top ticket Democratic candidates, Jerry Brown for Governor and Barbara Boxer for Senate, were struggling in close elections. However, in the end, with overwhelming support from Latinos.  Groups like CHIRLA Action Fund and the Campaign for Community Change put plans into place that 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 that 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,  Angle also had a well-publicized misstep when she told a group of Latino high school students that they looked “more Asian” to her.

Besides celebrating these successes, the game plans that went into place  should provide blueprints for the Democratic Party, and others, who, with changing demographics, will be ever more dependent on winning Latino votes.

 Washington Post