Political Parties Missed Chance to Boost Latino Turnout

Edwin J. Viera

A recent poll from a Latino rights group finds both political parties neglected outreach to Latino voters.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund polled Latinos throughout the U.S. over several weeks and discovered more than half were not contacted by Democrats or Republicans prior to the election.

In New York, Latino voter turnout has grown from the past two elections.

Dorian Caal, director of civic engagement research for the Educational Fund, said more people heard from the Democratic Party than the Republican Party.

“This was another opportunity for either party to engage the Latino community,” Caal pointed out. “And it looks like it was a missed opportunity for both parties to really engage the Latino community on the issues that really mattered.”

According to the poll, 48% of Latinos rated inflation and the increasing cost of living as top issues, and 26% of Latinos cited abortion rights as their most important issue.

The poll found 76% of respondents support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Caal noted Latino voters are not a monolith.

“What is top of mind is really around the rising cost of living, for example, reproductive rights, lowering the cost of health care – you know, addressing mass shootings, climate change, and so forth,” Caal outlined. “So certainly, that would be top of mind as Latinos went to the polls.”

Some issues Latino voters want the new Congress to address are allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, a nationwide assault rifle ban, and legalizing recreational marijuana.

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