In recent years, there has been a lot of conversation among political pundits, journalists and analysts about the impact of the “Latino vote.” The 2020 election actually saw a historic turnout from Latino voters, with over 16 million casting their votes. Currently, Latinos are the second largest voting cohort in the country.
We understand that the Latino community is not a monolithic group. The narrative is often that Latinos and Latinas vote with the Democratic Party. However, there has been talk of a shift in how the Republican Party is resonating with them. Latinos and Latinas are also historically underrepresented in public office, although more candidates are beginning to run for office.
As the primaries continue throughout the summer and fall, voting rights are still under attack. State legislatures, especially those with a Republican majority, have been known to redraw district maps in a way that takes political power away from Black and Latino voters. Just last year, Texas state lawmakers voted on a map that added no new congressional districts in areas where Black and Latino voters make up the majority, even though those voters fueled the state’s population growth. Additionally, misinformation and disinformation have targeted the Latino community specifically. So there are different challenges that this community faces when it comes to casting their vote.
In this continuation of Latino USA’s 2022 midterms coverage, Maria welcomes her In The Thick co-host Julio Ricardo Varela and the following two guests: Sonja Diaz , Founding Director of the Latino Policy & Politics Institute at UCLA, and Jazmine Ulloa , national reporter for The New York Times. Looking ahead to the midterm elections, they discuss the role Latinos and Latinas will play, what they are hearing from voters on the ground, the races that we should be keeping an eye on and the complexity and richness of the Latino community.
Featured image courtesy of AP Photo/Eric Gay, File.