Since the 1990s Latinos have had an increasing influence on politics in the United States there are demographic that will be closely watched during the 2018 midterm elections could they help tilt the outcome of any of the key races joining me now to discuss this topic is our political analyst Laura cross Laura welcome to the show so how large.
Is a Latino voting bloc in the United States right now and any anticipation the Latino vote could.
Be a deciding factor in these elections Elaine as you know the Latino vote has been growing in the United States and for these midterm elections.
It’s calculated at 29 million people which is a sizable block the problem as always has been turnout turnout has been low it’s particularly low in midterm elections and it’s unclear whether we’re going to have a greater turnout in these elections the other fact about the Latino vote is that it’s highly concentrated in certain districts of course we’re talking about the border states along the southern border and also states like Illinois New York and of course Florida this means that they have a more political clout in certain districts and in certain states.
But it also kind of dilutes the the clout in.
The nation as a whole have any campaigns done a good job of targeting Latino voters or any of them.
Being run in Spanish for example well there are some campaigns in Spanish because now we have candidates who speak fluent Spanish particularly again in those.
Areas where Latino vote is concentrated but there was a recent survey that showed that over half of Latino voters have still not been contacted by a party so.
Just in the last couple of days there’s been a number.
Of reports coming out saying that in particular.
The Democratic Party has not done its job in terms of really reaching out to Latino voters this is important for Democrats because Latino voters vote.
About three to one for the Democratic Party and it’s critical for them particularly in certain districts yet we’re not seeing apparently enough outreach to these groups we know in the 2016 US presidential election there were high expectations of a surge in Latino voting and much of.
That was based on candidate Donald Trump’s tough stance on illegal immigration did the Latino turnout meet those expectations no not really Latinos voted in record numbers which is just pretty much a reflection of the Democratic changes or the demographic rather.
Changes that were seen there about 11% of the electorate but the surge that was expected because of Latinos coming out to defend what you would consider their interests against this real offensive on the part of Donald Trump didn’t really happen in fact there was about 40 7.6 percent turnout on the part of Latinos which was actually very slightly below that.
Turnout for the 2012 elections so there’s a similar concern in these.
Elections although there’s been a lot of emphasis on issues that are very important to Latinos like being against the wall like being against the crackdown on immigration and defending dreamers and particularly a high degree of outrage at the family separation policies of Donald Trump we’re still not seeing that that is necessarily translating into more turnout at the polls there seems to be some kind of a disconnect either between.
What the Democratic Party is doing to reach Latinos or also.
Between a general faith among Latino populations that voting can make a real change in the country and therefore it’s very important.
For them to go out and vote Laura you mentioned certain demographics Latino Millennials the age group that spans the ages of 22 to 37 are the largest voting bloc.
Since the baby boomer generation in the.
United States what are we seeing from.
Them in terms of participation are they making a difference in politics well this is definitely the demographic that we have to watch in these elections Elaine because six out of ten latino voters are under the age of 35 and there’s 3 million more voters.
For these midterm elections than there were in 2014 again the record is not good in terms of turnout for this em’ly graphics they voted at considerably lower numbers than.
Their counterparts among youth in other groups so again we’re seeing a disconnect and we’re seeing.
A problem in actually bringing across the message that if young Latino voters participate in elections.
They beacon can begin to make the kinds of changes that they’d like to see again we find that this breaks down differently in different parts of the.
Country there are some parts of the country where the Latino vote and especially the young Latino vote has been more energized either by the candidates themselves or by a history of more work in terms of going door.
Door and really trying to get out that vote and in those districts we can really expect that these populations will make a difference when the vote comes around but it’s not even across the board and there still is a lot of work that has to be done to convince this part of the population that’s growing everyday to take part in the political process and to flex its.
Political muscle that we see in a rising star in u. politics twenty-eight-year-old Alexandria or Castillo Cortez she defeated New.
York’s ten term incumbent in June’s congressional primary and many are saying that her.
Victory should be credited to the Millennial vote and her campaign on social media so what role is social media playing in these elections and are we likely to see more candidates like her I think.
That we’re definitely likely to see it and there’s two reasons first of all is one that you mentioned that social media is so important in elections it’s really changed.
The way that campaigns are run and the most successful campaigns like hers are run on the basis.
Of social media particularly Twitter Facebook and Instagram for someone like Alexandria who’s under 30 this is a language she was raised in use of emojis the use of short sentences and it really reaches those young voters it’s very important for this to be used as part of the campaigns and the second reason that we see a campaign.
She started out basically thinking she wanted to make a statement and then won with 57%.
Of the vote against an incumbent is that in some ways within the Democratic Party’s the bottom has dropped out or the center rather has dropped out in the sense that we’re finding that.
Throughout the population people are going for bolder proposals there’s a real dissatisfaction with the status quo in.
The United States and so those bolder proposals whether they’re on the left or on the right as we saw in the triumph of Donald Trump are becoming more attractive to voters the one thing that’s happening and this has been a criticism is that the Democratic Party has been slow to realize that those more radical.
In many senses proposals are actually attracting more voters and are more appealing particularly to younger voters and to Latino voters so Laura along similar lines do you think Latinos have enough political representation in the US government.
Are they making they definitely do not have proportional representation in the government there are only 38 members of Congress that are Latino which is underrepresented for the proportion in the population by a.
They’re making gains this has been evident again particularly in certain states and they have influence.
There’s the Hispanic Caucus within Congress and that gets together to try to promote some of the issues that are very important to them the ones that we mentioned defense the dreamers immigration reform and others but we have to remember Lane two that Latino voters and Latino politicians are not a monolithic bloc we have a broad ideological spectrum among these voters and so there are only.
Certain issues in which they can come to.
A common denominator in order for Latino voters.
And Latino populations and politicians to have more political clout they have to be first of all more represented in the political process and secondly arrive at consensus on some of the issues that most.
Affect Latino families in the United States Laura Carlson in Mexico City thank you so much for joining us on America’s now America’s net.