With just over a year until November 2020, Emily Glazer, Joshua Jamerson, and Jim Carlton, writing for the Wall Street Journal, spotlight Latino voters’ high turnout in 2018 and what it could mean for 2020. As the article notes, Latino turnout in 2018 jumped 96% nationally from the 2014 midterms, compared with a 37% increase among non-Latino voters. In states with large Hispanic populations—such as California, Texas and New York—turnout increased by as much as 133%, according to an analysis of voting precincts by the University of California, Los Angeles.
Excerpts from the Wall Street Journal piece “Democrats Seek to Build on 2018 Gains With Latino Voters” are included below:
Democratic organizers have long struggled to earn robust Latino turnout and support at the ballot box. They think they have finally hit on a winning strategy.
State parties, advocacy groups and other organizations say they are investing more resources earlier than they have before in sending volunteers into Latino neighborhoods and engaging voters, including registering young people to vote and holding Spanish-language events.
These groups are launching efforts nationwide at a time when Democratic presidential campaigns are still largely focusing on four early-voting states, only one of which has a significant Latino population.
Democrats hope to replicate their success in the 2018 elections, when Latino turnout in several battleground states was nearly double that of the previous midterm cycle and helped the party take control of the House.
…Democrats have long thought the growing Hispanic population in the U.S., which, according to the Pew Research Center, is on track to be the biggest racial and ethnic minority group in the electorate in 2020, would give them a big ballot-box advantage. Ahead of the 2016 election, there were predictions that President Trump would significantly underperform with this group in comparison with previous Republican presidential candidates as a result of his immigration rhetoric—expectations that didn’t materialize.
Hispanic support for Republicans peaked at 40% for George W. Bush in 2004. President Trump and 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney each won slightly less than one-third of Hispanic voters, according to the Pew Research Center.
Both Democrats and Republicans in the past have struggled to motivate Latino voters to turn out. Going back to 1988, Hispanic voters have voted at sharply lower rates in presidential-election years than white and black voters, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center analysis.
…Before the 2018 midterms, Democrats sent hundreds of volunteers into Latino neighborhoods in states like Nevada. Latino turnout jumped 96% nationally from the 2014 midterms, compared with a 37% increase among non-Latino voters. In states with large Hispanic populations—such as California, Texas and New York—turnout increased by as much as 133%, according to an analysis of voting precincts by the University of California, Los Angeles.
That analysis, released last December, found the Latino vote was responsible for flipping many House seats to the Democrats.