Friday, April 19, 2024

Iowa’s Latinos Hope to Make Greater Impact In Caucuses

1 Iowa Latinos

Iowa’s small Latino population is looking to make a big impact in the 2016 presidential caucuses this year. While Latinos in Iowa only make up about 3% of all registered voters, in small, rural towns across the state, a handful of caucus-goers could tip the balance in those precincts and have a significant impact in what has been a very tight race to the finish.

“I’m torn between Bernie and Hillary. I really like Bernie’s message, how he wants to shift how the government is handled. But I also like Hillary and all the experience she has and I also think she’s really, really smart and I was really impressed by her knowledge of foreign policy and just how witty she is. She seems to be fast on her feet” said Sandra Rosado, a first time caucus-goer, who like other Latino voters will be weighing the candidates’ positions on important issues like the economy and immigration heading into Monday night’s caucuses.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has launched an effort targeting Latinos that encourages them to participate through an outreach campaign with calls, postcards, flyers, and door knocking. They estimate the number of registered Latino voters at 50,000 with millennials making up about 44% of that vote.

LULAC estimates that only about 30% of Latino respondents in Iowa plan to support a Republican candidate while the other 70% indicated preference for a Democrat. Candidates like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side and Jeb Bush on the GOP side have made outreach to Latino voters a priority and central part of their organizing strategy.

LULAC national vice president for the Midwest, Joe Enriquez Henry commented that the organization “received so many positive responses from our people, young and old. We have both paid phone calling and volunteer phone calling going on right now, up through caucus day,” Enriquez Henry said. “As we now say in Iowa, ‘Latinos like to Caucus.”


NBC News