Growing Latino electorate in US could potentially swing upcoming presidential polls

Experts said Latino voters are a growing, diverse and increasingly prominent demographic in US politics, with the power to potentially swing this election for either candidate.

“It’s not just the fact that Hispanics are a growing population, but they are … in a lot of really key battleground states that are essentially going to be huge in deciding who wins this election,” said political science professor Gabriel Sanchez from the University of New Mexico.

Nowhere in the US will this play out more prominently than in New Mexico, where over half the population is Hispanic and has elected three Hispanic governors in a row.


New Mexico has the highest proportion of Latinos across all US states.

With just over a month to go before the state holds presidential primaries, millions of dollars are being pumped into election campaigns.

Lea County in southeast New Mexico, for instance, is around 60 per cent Hispanic, and turning out the vote in areas like this could be a political goldmine.

“In Lea County, we have 7,000 people who are eligible to become citizens,” said Ms Eduviges Hernandez, a volunteer with Somos Un Pueblo Unido, a non-profit organisation which supports immigrant rights.

“When it’s time for elections, we go on the streets and knock on doors to find these people so they can become citizens and they can vote.”

President and CEO of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce Ernie C’deBaca said politicians are starting to recognise the power of this demographic. 

“In the last five to six years, they are realising that there is an opportunity to have the Latino vote. That they should do everything they can to make sure they get registered and both parties are doing that,” he said.


In 2020, current US President Joe Biden beat former president Donald Trump in New Mexico by 10 points. Some Republicans believe they need to improve their messaging.

“We’re splintered into so many different factions whether it’s healthcare, abortion, or women’s rights,” said Mr Jim Garcia, an executive director with the Associated Contractors of New Mexico.

“We need to coalesce in message, we can’t just put a cloak over this and say it’s not our problem or that we’re going to deal with it later, because right now our messaging is getting lost.”

Nationally, immigration will be a key issue for voters in the run-up to the election.

Polling suggests Latinos tend to oppose some of Trump’s hardline views like building a wall on the southern border.

Data also suggests the majority of Latino voters side with Democrats when it comes to the issue of reproductive rights.

In the previous election, Biden was roughly twice as popular as Trump among Latino voters.

However, the economy could become a major pull for come election day. The motivation of voters can vary greatly but some surveys suggest Trump’s pledges of greater prosperity are gaining traction.

A recent USA Today and Suffolk University poll shows Trump now has a five-point lead among that demographic – a promising sign for the Republican Party.


Ms Rochelle Williams, founder of advocacy group Blue CD2, is working to blunt Republican hopes in New Mexico.

She founded the organisation in 2021 with a goal of flipping the district to Democrat in the 2022 midterms, which they did – narrowly.

Experts said strong Latino support for Democrats helped prevent a so-called “red wave” of Republican House and Senate race wins across the country.

Now, Ms Williams hopes to keep up that momentum. Her online tools aim to show voters how the party is helping people in her district.

“We have work to do and what we’re doing is to change the narrative here. To (tell voters) what is, and to support policies of economic and social justice that are coming out of the Democratic administration,” she said.

SOURCE: CNA ( RSS Latest News   (go to source)
All copyrights for this article, including images, are reserved to the original source and/or creator(s).


You might also like