We’ve written in the past about how there’s a generational divide when it comes to which Democratic candidate Latinos are supporting. The general consensus is that millennials are more likely to support Bernie Sanders and The Olds are backing Hillary Clinton. But is that changing?
It’s not just the youth feeling the Bern.
According to MSNBC, young Latinos in Illinois are successfully convincing their parents to vote for Senator Sanders. The story cites the efforts of Anahi Tapia, Brenda Rodriguez and Yesenia Mata — all three in their 20s — who set up an unofficial Bernie campaign office in West Chicago’s Little Village, one of the Windy City’s big Latino enclaves. As they spread their pro-Bernie message, the trio discovered that the older members of the community hadn’t even heard of the Vermont Senator. That doesn’t matter though, if the kids are on their side, so are the parents. The reason?
“It’s because you’re a trusted messenger, for everything — reading documents, translating, etc.,” Brenda Rodriguez said, repeating her mother’s explanation to the MSNBC reporter. Obviously, this is anecdotal, but if you’ve ever been a child who has had to be the family’s official translator because your parents didn’t speak English, you understand just how much power you yield within your family.
Bernie Sanders is winning the Latino vote in Illinois.
Is it working? The latest polls point to yes. According to an NBC News/Marist/ Wall Street Journal Poll, 64 percent of Latinos are planning to vote for Sanders, more than doubling Hillary Clinton’s 30 percent.
Will it be enough though?
Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Sorry, Bernie, but although Chicago and the surrounding area is very much Latino (shout out to Buffalo Grove and Arlington Heights!), the rest of Illinois is not.
According to Pew Research, the Latino share of the total electorate in the Prairie State is 11 percent. Winning the Latino vote might not be enough to close Hillary’s slight advantage (FiveThirtyEight predicts that Hillary Clinton will get 51.8 percent of the vote to Sanders’s 44.1 percent). Then again, no one expected Bernie Sanders to win neighboring state Michigan.
Regardless, the biggest takeaway is this: don’t stop talking to your parents about voting. If your parents are anything like mine, they’ll be hesitant about it and say that their vote doesn’t count. Tell them they’re wrong, register them (and yourself) to vote if they haven’t, and make your voices heard.