Campaigns Falling Short on Outreach to Latinos
A new report released Monday by UnidosUS and the California Civic Engagement Project at the University of Southern California found that competitive midterm campaigns are in need of more intense outreach to Latinos. The report, which focused on 25 competitive House districts where Latino voters could make a sizable difference this fall, underscored the need for campaigns and political parties to invest in outreach now as the Latino voting population surges. It also looked at demographic shifts that forecast the Latino population will grow more than 50% in the next two decades to 87.5 million -- representing nearly a quarter of all Americans. “Many pundits and political operators continue to rely on a shallow understanding of the Latino electorate, and either act surprised when Latinos determine the outcome of an election, or ignore factors like lack of outreach and investment when these voters do not turn out. By continuing to misunderstand or undervalue this electorate, those who manage and advise political campaigns miss opportunities to register, engage, and persuade eligible Latino citizens to vote,” the report says. “Careful, strategic efforts to encourage Latino voter turnout could literally change the outcome of many political races at the local, state, and national levels. Indeed, unless corrected, the current underinvestment in the Latino electorate may well amount to a critical—and possibly unprecedented—lost opportunity.” The report also says that engagement strategies must include helping eligible immigrants become citizens, helping citizens register to vote, and continuing to invest in the meaningful engagement of registered voters to increase their turnout at the polls. More here.