Elections are just around the corner and the question about Latinx electoral participation that is usually repeated every four years arises again: Will we be the decisive vote in the states where it really matters or will we be irrelevant?
With 32 million Latinx eligible to vote in the elections, Spanish speakers will be the most important racial or ethnic group during an electoral process in the United States.
As a result of the consistent population growth rate, every four years more Latinx vote in the presidential elections, but unfortunately the proportion of those who vote, compared to the total eligible Latinx voters, has decreased in the last electoral cycles.
In 2016, experts anticipated that Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric would trigger a record number of Latinx eager to defeat him. While it’s true that Latinx participation increased compared to 2012, it didn’t make a difference in the states that defined the election.
Trump won 28% of Latinx support, a figure that was slightly higher than the Latinx vote for Republican Mitt Romney four years earlier.
COVID-19 and the rise of unemployment in half the Latinx community has the potential to become the focal point of the 2020 elections.
According to a new poll by Latino Decisions/Unidos US, 70% of Latinx disapprove of the Trump administration’s handling of the health crisis which represents an increase from the 56% in May.
As we get closer to the home stretch of the election, Latinx seem to be more excited to vote. 69% of Latinx interviewed said they were sure to vote on November 3, an increase of 7% in May.
With growing enthusiasm, Latinx could be decisive in eight battleground states where the proportion of Latinx eligible to vote in 2020 is greater than the margin of victory in 2016: Arizona, North Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Nevada and New Mexico. In at least four of those states, Joe Biden has a lead on Trump.
Assuming that the estimate of 18 million eligible Latinx voters not having registered yet is correct, then we understand the strong desire of numerous organizations such as Poder Latinx, LULAC, Mi Familia Vota, Voto Latino and others to have voters register, verify their registration and vote, preferably in advance and by mail.
Technology is helping. In the campaign of La Red Hispana, you only need to send a text message with the word VOTAMOS to 52886 to start the registration or verification process for free. The possibility of not being spectators but instead becoming protagonists is literally at our fingertips.