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Why #ThatMexicanThing Matters – and Will Matter Even More Come Election Day

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Judging by their continued actions and statements, the Republican presidential ticket seems intent on personally insulting Latino voters and on driving more Latinos into the arms of the Democrats.

As Adrian Carrasquillo writes in a BuzzFeed article titled, “Why #ThatMexicanThing Matters,” a “Latino thing” has become perhaps the most consequential storyline emanating from each of the first two debates featuring the presidential and vice presidential contenders:

“After the first debate, everyone was talking about Donald Trump’s past shaming of Alicia Machado, a 1990s Miss Universe, who seemed crafted for maximum political impact.

…Toward the end of Tuesday’s vice presidential debate, after a long exchange on immigration, Tim Kaine kept prodding Mike Pence to defend Trump’s most corrosive statements. He again brought up the charge that Mexico was sending “criminals and rapists” and Pence was over it. “Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again.”

The moment came and went quickly, but blossomed on social media, where Latinos responded by highlighting the sacrifices their families have made in the country, leading both #ThatMexicanThing and #ThatMexicanThingAgain to trend on Twitter.”

Very quickly, “That Mexican Thing” moved from the realm of social media to become a major storyline in English and Spanish media. The story has also generated a series of powerful testimonials and reflections (check out writing from our own David Torres and Gabe Ortíz for examples).

Not surprisingly, the Latino community is poised to deliver Donald Trump and the GOP a historically low share of the Latino vote nationwide. For example, a just-released Latino Decisions post predicts that Hillary Clinton will beat Donald Trump by the unprecedented margin of 82% – 15%. By way of comparison: in 2004 George W. Bush received approximately 40% of the Latino vote (the last time a Republican won the popular vote); in 2008 John McCain won approximately 30%; and in 2012 Mitt Romney won approximately 25% of the vote.

Similarly, in another just-released nationwide poll, from New Latino Voice, conducted by Florida International University and Adsmovil, Clinton leads Trump with Latino voters by a whopping 83 – 11% margin. Furthermore, a new poll of Florida’s growing Puerto Rican community, conducted by Latino Decisions on behalf of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, finds that Clinton leads Trump among Puerto Rican voters in the battleground state of Florida by a 74% – 17% margin.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Whether through the nativist bombast of Donald Trump or the dismissive derisiveness of Mike Pence, the GOP presidential ticket seems to think that consistently treating Latinos as less than, as invaders, and as threats is a good strategy. As the outpouring of pride, love of family, and patriotism on #ThatMexicanThing strongly suggests, the Latino community isn’t having it. Latinos are preparing to “whip that Mexican thing out” on Election Day – that “thing” being the vote –  to make sure the GOP’s racism