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The Emerging Story of the 2016 Election: Latino Voters Surge to Vote Against Trump and Anti-Immigrant Politics

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Less than 24 hours before Election Day, one of the dominant post-election storylines has already emerged: Latino voters are surging, poised to vote in historic numbers against Donald Trump in large part due to immigration issues, and are set to be decisive in key states throughout the country:

Jonathan Martin in the New York Times: “Hillary Clinton Appears to Gain Late Momentum on Surge of Latino Voters”:

“Hispanic voters in key states surged to cast their ballots in the final days of early voting this weekend, a demonstration of political power that lifted Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes and threatened to block Donald J. Trump’s path to the White House. …Alyssa Perez, 23, a doctoral student at the University of Central Florida who voted at another busy location in Orlando, said she considered Mr. Trump to be ‘anti-women, anti-Hispanic, anti-Muslim’ and said, ‘I don’t want to live in a country where there is a president who has those kinds of views.’”

 Dara Lind in Vox.com, “This is the Year of the Latino Vote” 

“After all that — after all the rallies, the polls, the drama, the leaks, the 17 months of American public life we will never get back — the story of the 2016 presidential election might turn out to have been set way back in June 2015, when Donald Trump came down the escalator of Trump Tower and briefly referred to Mexican immigrants as murderers and rapists. Latinos were listening.

…It would be a mistake to see this as the story of a reflex: Donald Trump hit Latinos just below the knee, and they instinctively, unthinkingly kicked. Low-propensity voters who believe that neither political party cares about them don’t suddenly become high-propensity just because one party’s nominee demonstrates he really doesn’t. What happened, instead, was a long, exhaustive, labor-intensive and expensive effort to mobilize Latinos against Trump: to, as one RNC protest put it, wall him off from the White House.”

Robert Samuels in the Washington Post: ‘I Don’t Trust Mr. Crazy’: Motivated by Opposition to Trump, Hispanics are Poised for Historic Turnout”:

“‘When he insulted Mexicans, he was insulting all of us,’ said Ralat-Albernas, referring to Trump’s description of Mexican immigrants as rapists. ‘He doesn’t understand our culture. We need to come together and show him that our community is powerful.’

In Florida, a network of immigrant rights organizations, unions and leftist nonprofits aligned to bring out the vote for more than a year, according to Maria Rodriguez, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition. In the past year, they knocked on 1 million doors of low- and mid-propensity voters throughout the state, nearly 60 percent of whom were Latino. In the trendy Miami Modern District, they handed out cups of Cuban coffee near a mural depicting Trump as a flying pig, to attract young Latinos to vote; they invested in ads on salsa radio stations on Pandora that encouraged listeners to vote early. They scoured areas with large Central American populations to interact with Honduran and Nicaraguan voters who are not typically targeted.”

Jeremy Peters, Amy Chozick, and Lizette Alvarez in the New York Times, “Fear of Donald Trump Helps Democrats Mobilize Hispanics”: 

“Many votes have yet to be counted, but this much is already clear: Hispanic America has been mobilized like never before in the 2016 election, and is emerging as a formidable force with the power to elect a president. Energized by anger at Mr. Trump and an aggressive Democratic campaign to get them to the polls, Latinos are turning out in record numbers and could make the difference in the outcome in several highly contested states.

…“We understand this community. We know culturally what are the strongest messages that work for them,” said Lorella Praeli, Mrs. Clinton’s national director of Latino outreach, who had lived undocumented for years after coming to this country from Peru but is now an American citizen. “This wasn’t created in an office. This was built on the ground.”

Steven Shepard in Politico, “Latino voting surge rattles Trump campaign”:

“Hispanic voters could be poised to deliver a historic rebuke to Donald Trump and the Republican Party.”

Dan Barry in the New York Times, “Latina Hotel Workers Harness Force of Labor and of Politics in Las Vegas”:

“This is Celia. Underestimate her at your risk. Celia Vargas, 57, with dark wavy hair restrained by a clasp, works at one of the hotels in perpetual gleam along and around the Strip. She is a “guest room attendant” and a member of the Culinary Union, one of more than 14,000 who clean hotel rooms while guests donate money to the casino of their choice.

…Soon she is heading for the same door, one more guest room attendant who wears a back brace while cleaning rooms for a presidential candidate whose name is on the bathrobes she stocks, on the empty wine bottles she collects, on her name tag. He will receive her labor, but not her vote.”

Alex Leary, in the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald, “Hispanics Voting in Record Numbers in Florida, Other States, Boosting Hillary Clinton”

“If Hillary Clinton wins Florida — all but sending her to the White House — one of the major reasons will be a dramatic outpouring of Hispanic voters like Greta Gomez determined to deliver a thundering rebuke to Donald Trump.

‘Trump is very scary,’ Gomez said as she waited on line Sunday to get into a rally in this heavily Hispanic city featuring President Barack Obama. ‘He’s a xenophobe. He’s racist. He’s a misogynist. He’s not the kind of man who should be president.’

The 34-year-old English teacher moved to Kissimmee from Puerto Rico this summer and said she was proud to cast her first vote. ‘Even my students who can’t vote, they are saying they wish they could just because they are also scared of Trump.’”

 Michelle Rindels in the Associated Press, “Heavy Turnout in Nevada After Long Push to Drive Latino Vote”:

“It was more than two hours after early voting was scheduled to end at a Mexican grocery store in Las Vegas and the last voters were still trickling out of the sliding glass doors, fresh from casting their ballots next to mounds of dried chiles, rows of piñatas and a horchata stand.

Isabel Garcia and her two young children stood firm for about two hours in a line that at one point snaked back and forth several times over in front of the supermarket in this heavily Hispanic neighborhood. Democratic operatives joked on Twitter that Donald Trump was finally getting his wall — a crush of Nevadans like Garcia who were determined to vote against him.”

Jon Ralston in the Reno Gazette-Journal“How Deep Does the Blue Wave Go?”:

“Nevada leaned toward Hillary Clinton since the race began. Why? The last two cycles. The high Latino vote. The Democratic machine vs. the Trump/GOP nonexistent ground game.

The only reason I ever thought he had a chance here was because of the lack of enthusiasm for her and the plethora of uneducated voters here (aka, Trump’s base). But the early voting numbers are so daunting, and the Hispanic turnout was so large in Clark County his path went from narrow to blocked.”

Joshua Green in Bloomberg, “In Trump’s Most Important County, a Surge of Hispanic Voters”:

“For weeks, both campaigns have fixated on the question of whether Miamians would turn out in force to vote—and, if so, who they’d vote for. The first question has already been answered with a resounding yes. Florida has seen a surge of early voting.

… Whether Trump can win over enough voters in Miami-Dade is another question. Nothing will be settled until Election Day. But a study of Miami-Dade’s early voters that Smith conducted for Bloomberg Businessweek suggests Clinton is poised to benefit from an unprecedented surge of Hispanic voters.”