Bernie Sanders Needs Latinos Now More Than Ever

California, the state with the largest Latino population in the country, will have its primary on Tuesday, June 7. The open primary — both registered Democrats and independents are allowed to vote — will be crucial for the future of Bernie Sanders’s campaign, and Latinos will play a decisive role.

California is Bernie Sanders’s last stand.

Credit: @berniesanders/Instagram

There’s a reason Bernie Sanders has been referring to California as “the big enchilada.” (Maybe he’s also subtly giving a nod to Latinos?) California is the most populous state in the country, and if he wins it, he can then go to the more than 500 superdelegates planning on voting for Secretary Hillary Clinton and claim that he’s more electable than she is. Sanders has already said that his team plans on lobbying superdelegates after Tuesday in hopes of getting them to switch sides before the Democratic National Convention takes place in late July.

Clinton and Sanders are pretty much tied in California.

Credit: @berniesanders/Instagram

Just about every major poll has Clinton and Sanders in a virtual dead heat. According to the final Real Clear Politics poll average, Clinton has a two-point advantage over Senator Sanders, which is well within the margin of error. That means that the delegate-rich California is pretty much a coin toss at this point.

A record number of Latinos registered to vote for this primary.

Credit: @BernieSanders/Instagram

According to Capitol Weekly, which focuses on Californian politics and elections, a record-breaking 2.3 million new people registered to vote ahead of the upcoming primaries. That increase in voter registration also applies to Latinos. More Latinos registered to vote for upcoming primary than did for the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Even more good news for Bernie Sanders is that Paul Mitchell, author of that report, notes that it wasn’t just Latinos who had a surge in voter registration. People under the age of 30, an age group that tends to vote in favor of Sanders, also registered in droves.

The Sanders campaign has not ignored Latinos.

Credit: @SenBAnalyst/Twitter

No one knows better than the Sanders campaign how badly it needs Latinos to show up for him. The senator has held rallies in Latino-heavy pockets of California, like his May 21 visit to San Diego’s Friendship park, which sits on the U.S.-Mexico border, and the May 23 rally held in the East Los Angeles neighborhood of Lincoln Heights.

The Sanders camp set up headquarters in East Los Angeles to specifically register Latinos and get them out to vote.

Bernie Sanders’s East L.A. Office¡Amigos! The official East L.A. office for Bernie Sanders is now OPEN. Stop by anytime with your friends, family members, and colleagues. This is YOUR headquarters in East L.A. to participate in canvassing, phone banking and to pick up campaign materials.
Find us here: bernie.to/EastLA

Friends! La oficina oficial de Bernie Sanders en el Este de Los Angeles ya está ABIERTA. Vengan cuando gusten con sus amigos, familiares y colegas. Este centro de operaciones en East L.A. es de USTEDES para organizar bancos de llamadas, salir a tocar puertas o pasar a recoger materiales de campaña.
Encuéntranos: bernie.to/EastLA

Posted by Erika Andiola on Thursday, May 19, 2016

It’s more than just rallies. The Sanders camp set up shop in East L.A., which as we’ve repeated, is predominantly Latino.

“I think it’s significant for us to open an official campaign office to acknowledge all the work, all the involvement, all the platforms we have for the Latino community,” Bill Velazquez, Sanders’s national director for Latino Outreach, told NPR affiliate KPCC.

Tuesday’s primary will determine the extent to which those efforts have paid off.

READ: Young Latinos Are Convincing Their Parents To Vote For Bernie Sanders

Register to vote today by downloading the Latinos Vote app for iOS and Android. Our voice matters. #WeAreAmerica

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