Plenty of attention was focused on Latinx voters this election season as they were expected to be the second largest group of Americans to vote for the first time in U.S. history. There were also plenty of blurred lines in the prediction of which way Latinos would vote for Presidential and Congressional candidates.
According to an analysis of Census Bureau data by The World Projects, every 30 seconds, a young Latino in the U.S. turns 18. In total, Pew Research calculated there would be an estimated 32 million new voters in this election. These unprecedented numbers of new Latinx voters were expected to have made a historic difference.
So far they have, according to a poll by CNN with the battleground state of Florida, Latinx voters showed out at almost double the rate for President Donald Trump in comparison to the 2016 election.
On the other hand, larger numbers of Latinx voters showed up in Arizona and Nevada. Although these two states' standings are not final yet, it seems as though the Latino vote may make historic flips in turning these red states blue.
Voto Latino, the nation’s largest Latinx voter registration organization, played a large role in preparing many of these newly eligible Latinx voters to participate in this election.
Initially, this grassroot organization aimed to register 500,000 new Latinx voters, but came up doubling this amount and supplied 1 million new voters with resources necessary to participate. Apart from registering new voters across the country, Voto Latino mobilized an estimated 3.7 million total individuals.
Along with mobilizing those nearly 4 million voters, Voto Latino raised over $35 million to support their “Get-Out-The-Vote” efforts. They focused these efforts in six battleground states which previously had the lowest Latinx voter turnouts. These states included Arizona, Florida, Nevada- as mentioned before, as well as North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Professor Geraldo Cadava, informed that since the end of World War II, the Latinx community has become increasingly politically active. Many more Latinos went to college, bought homes and were going to be critical in this election.
According to The Seattle Times in the Op The myth of the monolithic ‘Latino vote’ “Hispanic voters are portrayed as strictly Democratic, single-mindedly concerned with immigration reform and willing to vote for any candidate with a Latino-sounding name... This portrait is not only imprecise, it is insulting. Latinos are truly independent.”
As we await this year’s results, there is already a notable difference with Latinos voting much more and in extremely assorted ways. What we do know are some of the outcomes for congress.
Previously there had been 39 seats in Congress filled by Latinos, but according to an analysis by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund, this number was expected to rise. To match the population of Latinos in the United States, that number would have to double. Arturo Vargas, NALEO’s executive director, argues we are at least “making progress”.
Some of the re-elected Latinos this year include Teresa Leger Fernandez who represents New Mexico’s 3rd District, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who represents New York’s 14th District, and Joaquin Castro, and Sylvia Garcia- each representing districts in Texas. Tony Gonzales has also been newly elected to the 23rd Congressional District in Texas.
Despite there being re-elected and newly elected Latino members of congress, there are still large disparities in their representation in the Senate and House of Representatives. With more Latinos voting this year, it is another sign of the slow but steady progress the Latinx community must continue to make. For now we all must continue to wait.
As Voto Latino emphasizes through some of their merchandise, “Somos Mas”. As the second largest group of Americans eligible and expected to vote, we should continue to make our voices heard, even long after we receive the results of the 2020 election.