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As Candidate Trump Zeroes In On 2020 Fear-Mongering, There’s a Clear Path to Drive Latino Turnout

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As candidate Donald Trump gears up to, once again, make demonizing immigrants and fear-mongering about Latinos the centerpiece of his 2020 electoral strategy, new research outlines the blueprint for parties, candidates, and organizations to capitalize on the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the 2020 electorate – 32 million Latino voters.

The Latino Vote Project – a research project conducted by Latino Decisions and Catalist on behalf of the Immigration Hub and America’s Voice – identified missed opportunities to leverage for future elections and recommendations to build durable power and increase Latino voter engagement and participation ahead of, and beyond, the 2020 elections. The key to the castle? Increased, early funding to allow for early engagement, higher contact, and diverse messaging. Read the full report online here and accompanying slide deck.

Below, we review the latest coverage of the Latino vote in previous elections and the outlook for 2020.

The Hill’s Rafael Bernal: “Hispanic grass-roots groups warn 2020 Dems not to overlook them”

A new report by the Latino Vote Project, a coalition of progressive pro-immigration groups, argue that community organizers are best equipped to reach Latino constituencies through outreach efforts like phone calls or canvassing than traditional Democratic campaign consultants who may have little in common with Hispanic voters.

..The groups argue in the report that failure to tap grassroots organizations like Florida Immigrant Coalition or provide them with enough funding led to missed opportunities.

The Latino Vote Project’s analysis found that without Hispanic voters in 2018 in four states — Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Florida — Republicans would have won “by landslide margins.”

Nevada Independent’s Humberto Sanchez: “Projected to be a force in 2020, Latino voters helped lift Rosen over Heller in 2018, according to new report”

Latino voters were the difference in Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen’s victory over former Sen. Dean Heller, and projected record Hispanic turnout next year could have a huge impact in several states including Nevada, according to a new report.

…Latinos will likely have a significant influence as a voting bloc in 2020 when they for the first time are projected, at 32 million eligible voters, to be the largest ethnic minority group in the electorate.

…The analysis—which looked at Latino voters in the last three elections in Arizona, Florida, Nevada and Texas—found that in addition to making the difference for Rosen, Latino voters also played significant roles in electing Sen. Kyrsten Sinema over Martha McSally in Arizona and made Democratic candidates Bill Nelson in Florida and Beto O’Rourke in Texas more competitive despite ultimately losing to Rick Scott and Ted Cruz, respectively.

NBC’s Benjy Sarlin and Stephen Nuño-Pérez: “Latino vote surged in 2018, new data shows”

Driving up the turnout among the fast-growing Latino electorate, which historically has lagged behind black and white participation, could be critical to the Democrats in winning those states in 2020.

…The report concluded that the turnout and margins among Latino voters were “largely responsible” for Democratic Senate wins in Nevada and Arizona, where they helped overcome Republican candidates’ own advantage with white voters.

Cronkite News’s Keerthi Vedantam: “Report: Latino voters flexed muscle in 2018, set to be a force in 2020”

The Latino Vote Project, a collaboration of several advocacy groups, said Thursday that the influence of those voters was already felt in 2018, with “no question” that a surge of Latino votes tipped Senate races in Arizona and Nevada to Democrats.

But they warned that the momentum they saw in 2018 could end, unless advocacy organizations mobilize and keep communities engaged in politics.

…But while they look forward to a larger share of eligible voters in 2020, advocates like Gomez warned that organizations need to mobilize and keep communities engaged in politics to make sure Latinos secure a large portion of the votes in future elections.

“We don’t need people to vote for one cycle,” she said. “We need people to be consistent and persistent voters so we don?t have administrations like this one.”

Orlando Sentinel’s Bianca Padró Ocasio: “Democrats grapple with Latino outreach in Florida ahead of 2020, report shows”

Despite an increase in support from Latino voters in Florida for the Democratic Party, a lack of funding and failed outreach programs at local progressive organizations dealt a blow to Democrats in the 2018 election, according to new analysis by the Latino Vote Project.

…But there is still a perception among progressive Latino groups that national organizations don’t understand the Latino vote in Florida and could face a similar defeat in 2020. Progressive groups who don’t understand the intricacies of Florida Latinos won’t be effective, she said.

“It does not work to parachute in people who are not in the community,” said María Rodríguez, executive director of FLIC Votes. “It’s not efficient or effective but also it’s not long lasting… I’m not seeing the course-correction.”