Thursday, May 23, 2024

Immigration executive action delay “dampened” 2014 Latino electoral enthusiasm, report shows

Democrats Court Latino Vote At Mexican Independence Celebration

Following the delay of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, the Democratic Party lost critical support from the Latino community during the 2014 midterm elections, according to polling data from Latino Decisions. All but one out of the ten U.S. Senate races deemed “critical” in November posted statewide Latino voting age populations of 6.1 percent or higher. Colorado, with a Latino voting age population of 15.4 percent, had the largest share, but the lack of voting age population among competitive states obscured the dynamics of how the immigration debate correlated with turnout.

“The hesitancy of Democrats to embrace immigration also extended to the campaign dialogue,” said David Damore, a senior analyst for Latino Decisions. “Engagement and mobilization of Latino voters was key to top of the ticket Democratic victories in [Colorado] during the 2008, 2010, and 2012 cycles and many expected this trend to carry [Democratic incumbent Mark] Udall to victory in 2014,” Damore said, adding that Latino voters had “little knowledge” of the two candidates very different stances on immigration.

Udall’s legislative record suggested his support for the President’s executive actions, but his public silence on the issue did not bode well for garnering enough of the critical Latino vote, and was eventually defeated by his anti-immigration reform Republican challenger Cory Gardner. Democratic senators across the country who came out in favor of a delay to the executive action lost their respective races, highlighting the significance of the Latino vote.

“Understanding this point is particularly critical for Democrats, given that the Party’s electoral successes are increasingly dependent upon outsized support among minority voters,” Damore said. The Democratic Party’s handling of immigration in 2014 was “self-defeating,” so only time will tell if the Party’s 2016 strategy on the issue favors embracing and drawing differences between the two political stances, or if silence – once again – is the preferred method of action.

Latin Post