Sunday, June 23, 2024

Comentarios from Maria: Latino voters before the next Presidential Election


I hope Republicans are paying attention because they will not arrive at the White House underestimating the Latino vote.

Friends, we are just around the corner from the next presidential election in which the Latino vote will be essential for any candidate who desires to win the White House. In the 2008 and 2012 elections, President Obama met victory thanks to our community by gaining 67% and 71% of the Hispanic vote, respectively. As our community grows, the percentage required for the winning candidate will be even greater. In 2004, Matthew Dowd – adviser to President Bush – said his candidate could not be re-elected without at least 40% of the Latino vote. And that he received, and won. Today, with the tremendous growth of eligible voters in our community, that number reaches at least 45% according to advisers to Republican candidates. The Republican Party should be in full panic.

This week, I participated in a forum with my colleagues from CNN en Español in Washington D.C. where we discussed important issues to our community, emphasizing the vast differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party when it comes to their commitment to our community. On one hand we see the Republican presidential candidate front runner, Donald Trump, who says he would deport the entire undocumented community, insults our Mexican brothers and sisters, suggests that immigrants are nothing but rapists and criminals, and wants to build a great wall between the United States and Mexico, and make Mexico pay for it. This is no way to talk to our community.

On the other hand, you have Democrats who are doing all they can to not only meet but also understand the needs of Latinos in this country. They recognize the importance and contributions of immigrants from all walks of life, whether it is the former Secretary of State and top candidate of the Democrats Hillary Clinton, or the former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley; they are candidates who know our community firsthand and it shows they care. Regardless of who comes out victorious after the primaries it is our responsibility to hold them accountable for what they say and promise.

According to the Pew Research Center, one of the most important issues to our community is education.

The American dream cannot be achieved without a good education. It is something that we owe to future generations and we must continue ensuring that everyone has access to it, and urging newer generations to follow the careers of the future in math, science, engineering and technology.

In second and third place, the economy and access to health care are issues important to Latino voters. We are working people, with goals to succeed, support our families and contribute to our community – quite the opposite of what the Republicans are saying.

Finally, we remain in a perpetual search of immigration reform. If it were not for the stubbornness of Republicans, we would already have the immigration law we very much need.

I hope Republicans are paying attention because they will not arrive at the White House underestimating the Latino vote.

This article originally appeared in Spanish in the Washington Hispanic.