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Latinx Power: Here to Vote

Hand of a person casting a ballot at a polling station during voting. - Image

The Latinx vote is often hard to decipher. Historically speaking, our voter turnout has tended to be low, but with our demographic now being the current largest minority in the US, things are about to change. According to the Pew Research Center (PRC) we represent 12% of eligible voters. That is 27.3 million voters. With a growing Latinx population that is expected to become 28% of the US population by 2060, we will have the capacity to sway the vote. This ability to influence the 2020 presidential election depends on how well organized we become and whether we are open-minded enough to create coalitions with different groups. Focusing on key states will be important, too. 

If we mobilize, we can increase Latinx voter turnout for the 2020 elections by focusing on target groups. In 2016, 44% of Latinx eligible voters were millennials. The PRC also identified that eligible Latino voters were influential in 3 of the 7 key states during the 2016 elections. Mainly, Arizona having 22% of Hispanic vote, Florida with 18%, and Nevada with 17%. Democratic presidential nominees should pay special attention to these states.

While Hispanic vote tends to go to the Democrats, it is not always the case. It is important to pay attention to the undecided. In 2016, Latinx voter turnout was esteemed between 13.1 and 14.7 million of which 79% voted for Hillary Clinton, 18% for Donald Trump, and 3% for third-party candidates. Latinx voting tendencies in Florida often favor the Republican Party – over 50% of Cuban-Americans voted for President Trump. However, recent evidence shows that their support for the party is waning there. Cuban-Americans could be on the same side of the Democratic vote, particularly that of millennials.

Renato Mendoza fills out a survey and canvassed for the 2016 presidential election. Image courtesy of Erika Hernandez.

The numerous human and civil rights abuses to immigrants in several detention centers – including children, have caused enormous anger among voters of all stripes. But anger must be translated into action. Mobilization will be key for making a significant change in the 2020 elections. In doing so, we must create a unified, sturdy coalition with other groups: African-Americans, progressive whites, LGBTQIA+ groups, and others.

We must also develop an effective outreach strategy to win the next presidential election, because it is time to unite and coalesce for a greater good. Change is in our hands. We must put a stop to abusive policies that have separated our families. We must stop discrimination against African-Americans such as when President Trump condescendingly speaks about a primordially African-American district in Baltimore. We also need to end policies that have enabled the continued destruction of our planet and the ebbing of democratic values in exchange of nepotism and cronyism. We must act now to halt policies that have allowed the National Rifle Association to flourish while innocent people perish in mass shootings. Furthermore, we need to push for policies that will help preserve wildlife and our planet.

Together, we must mobilize or else we risk losing the core values that have made our nation exceptional. We are the land of the free where immigrants from all over the world have come to make a better living and contributed to the country with their blood, sweat and tears. Without inputs to productivity in the form of continued innovation, immigrant labor, and both organizational and moral improvements, we could prompt economic stagnation while encouraging the decline of the American dream. Is this what we truly want?

Sources:

Guest Contributor: Erika Hernandez 

Erika Hernandez is a frequent columnist of immigration, Latino and political issues. She’s a travel junkie and culture lover. Erika has had brief conversations with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, presidential nominee Marianne Williamson, and worked directly with Mexico’s former Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Castañeda. Erika’s mission is to support those in disadvantage and serve as a source of positive change. 

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Erika Hernandez

Erika Hernandez is a frequent columnist of immigration, Latino and political issues. She’s a travel junkie and culture lover. Erika has had brief conversations with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, presidential nominee Marianne Williamson, and worked directly with Mexico’s former Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Castañeda. Erika’s mission is to support those in disadvantage and serve as a source of positive change.

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