Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Comentarios from Maria: Latino, Key in Virginia and New Jersey Elections



On Tuesday, November 5, the American people went to the polls to elect the future governors of the states of New Jersey and Virginia.

And once again, it was obvious that the role played by Latinos in these elections to bring the respective winners to victory, was extremely important.

In Virginia, voters elected Democrat Terry McAuliffe as their next governor. According to exit polls prepared ​​by Latino Decisions, McAuliffe took 66% of the Latino vote, leaving the Republican Cuccinelli with only 29% of the electorate.

These figures indicate how Latinos feel regarding ultra conservative Republicans and the party in general. Regarding Cuccinelli, Latinos realize his extremist policies.

In large part, this is directed at Republican anti-immigrant policies, and Cuccinelli’s ​​offensive comments directed at the immigrant community, where the candidate referred to them as rats.

In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie was reelected with about 51% of the Latino vote. In large part, this has much to do with the governor’s support on the issue of immigration reform.

Christie recently changed his position and put his support behind a bill that would allow state tuition for “dreamers,” the estimated 2.1 million undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and who could potentially benefit from the approval law called the Dream Act.

A large proportion of Latinos in New Jersey do not support most of the governor’s policies, but usually identify with the governor personally, an important factor that influenced most Latinos to vote for him.

And while the governor was able to achieve electoral victory in New Jersey, the same is unlikely in a presidential election.

The reality is that Christie would have a steep climb in the Republican primaries. In large part, thanks to the members of the “Tea Party”, the extremist fringe within the same party, who most likely wouldn’t allow him to get the Republican nomination.

And if they do decide to nominate him, Christie would not have a chance against the popular, pleasant and potential presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. Hillary, a great ally of the Latino community, has a 66% support within the community.

Much remains to be seen until the 2016 presidential elections, and possibly many say it is still too early for speculation and strategies.

But the truth is that if Republicans want a real chance to get into the White House, they shall execute an internal audit of their brand and how to target the Latino community.

Only then, will they have an opportunity to get the Latino vote, the tool that in recent years, election by election, presidential or not, is key in achieving any electoral victory.


This piece originally appeared in Spanish in the Washington Hispanic