Things That Matter

Latinos Are Expected To Make A Huge Impact During The 2018 Midterm Elections

There is no doubt that Latinos will make an impact during the 2018 midterm elections whether it’s at the polling booth or running for office. Latinos are America’s largest minority group, surpassing black people as a percentage of the population, and statistics show they tend to vote Democrat. According to the Pew Research Center, over 29 million Hispanics are eligible to vote in 2018 and make up 12.8 percent of all eligible voters, which are both new highs. But what does this really mean if more than half of Latinos don’t go out and vote?

The Latino voter turnout rate in midterm elections has declined since 2006 reaching a record low of 27 percent in 2014. 

During the last midterm cycle in 2014, Latinos didn’t make much of an impact at the polls as there was only a 27 percent voter turnout rate, which was a record low. Dan Sena, Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), hopes that 2014 was a learning lesson for Democrats that showed Latinos need more than just likable candidates to go out in vote.

“What we saw in the previous midterms was a lack on engagement on behalf of voters that may have been due to several factors including building relationships with Latino voters,” Sena says. “It may not have been a priority in the past but this time around we want to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

The DCCC is hoping to energize Latinos this year and not only get them vote but get them engaged in the political process.

The DCCC has put $30 million behind TV ads, mailing info and door to door campaigning in hopes of energizing Latinos and young voters to come to the polls. Their digital ads, which are Spanish language, have aired on Univision, Telemundo and other stations in eight large media markets including New Mexico and Texas. Sena says the organization began its campaign five days after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016. Sena feels that young voters will play a crucial part in whether Democrats can win back the house.

“Latino voters are looking to connect with Democratic candidates that stand on issues like affordable healthcare, education and jobs,” Sena explained. “We have spoken to many Latino families and these issues are a priority in many of their households.”

He feels that one of the biggest misconstructions of Latinos is that they don’t vote in as big numbers as other groups. Yet Latino voter engagement is one of the lowest among all minority groups in the United States. Sena says by getting to build these one on on relationships with Latino voters, the DCCC is getting to know what issues really matter to them.

According to the Pew Research Center, Latinos are more engaged in the 2018 midterms than prior elections.

According to The Pew Research Center, 52 percent of Latino registered voters say they have given the coming November midterm elections “quite a lot” of thought. That is a 16 percentage point increase from what they said about the last midterms in 2014. With that in mind, the DCCC hopes that interest will lead to votes on November 6. The DCCC has targeted 111 House districts this year which includes 29 where at least 10 percent of the eligible voters are Latinos. The hopes are that these votes lead to gaining at least 23 House seats and the majority in the House, currently controlled by the GOP.

Javier Gamboa, a spokesman for the DCCC, says that the organization has conducted a number of focus groups across the country, focusing on Latino voters who usually skip midterm elections, and have launched digital on real issues that affect hardworking Latino families.

“Our mission is to engage voters on issues that they care about and remind them of the power of their vote,” Gamboa says. “With all the backing and money we’ve put fourth, it will be Latinos that will be essential in flipping the House.”

Who are Latinos excited about in the 2018 midterms?

Sena says that this election cycle has seen some of the highest Latino participation than in recent memory and there has already been a great turnout when it comes to mail-in ballots. He says that candidates like Xochitl Torres Small in New Mexico, Gil Cisneros in California and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in Florida are in tight races. Latinos can make a huge impact with their vote in these key races, according to Sena.

The DCCC’s TV ads will be airing in these districts but what makes these commercials different then your usual political ad is that they’re not designated for that local area. The ads touch on values that are important to the Latino household like health, family and jobs that aren’t specific to one state but the entire Latino vote.

“Our battlefield is big and diverse. We got an amazing young crop of candidates because there is a desire for change,” Sena says. “People are asking who’s going to share our values and our concerns. This election is a chance for Latinos to go out and make their voices not only heard but make them count.”


READ: From Governorships To Congress, These Latinos Want To Lead The Country With Their Community In Mind

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From COVID To Elections, Here’s Why Misinformation Targets Latinos

Things That Matter

From COVID To Elections, Here’s Why Misinformation Targets Latinos

One of the big surprises of the 2020 election was how even though most Latino voters across the U.S. voted for Joe Biden, in some counties of competitive states like Florida and Texas, a higher-than-expected percentage of Latinos supported Donald Trump. One factor that many believe played a role: online misinformation about the Democratic candidate.

Another important subject that’s been victim of a massive misinformation campaign is the Coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing vaccination program. But why does #fakenews so heavily target the Latino community?

Since the 2020 campaign, a large misinformation campaign has target Latinos.

Although fake news is nothing new, in the campaign leading up to the 2020 elections it morphed into something more sinister – a campaign to influence Latino voters with false information. The largely undetected movement helped depress turnout and spread disinformation about Democrat Joe Biden.

The effort showed how social media and other technology can be leveraged to spread misinformation so quickly that those trying to stop it cannot keep up. There were signs that it worked as Donald Trump swung large numbers of Latino votes in the 2020 presidential race in some areas that had been Democratic strongholds.

Videos and pictures were doctored. Quotes were taken out of context. Conspiracy theories were fanned, including that voting by mail was rigged, that the Black Lives Matter movement had ties to witchcraft and that Biden was beholden to a cabal of socialists.

That flow of misinformation has only intensified since Election Day, researchers and political analysts say, stoking Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen and false narratives around the mob that overran the Capitol. More recently, it has morphed into efforts to undermine vaccination efforts against the coronavirus.

The misinformation campaign could have major impacts on our politics.

Several misinformation researchers say there is an alarming amount of misinformation about voter fraud and Democratic leaders being shared in Latino social media communities. Biden is a popular target, with misinformation ranging from exaggerated claims that he embraces Fidel Castro-style socialism to more patently false and outlandish ones, for instance that the president-elect supports abortion minutes before a child’s birth or that he orchestrated a caravan of Cuban immigrants to infiltrate the US Southern border and disrupt the election process.

Democratic strategists looking ahead to the 2022 midterm elections are concerned about how this might sway Latino voters in the future. They acknowledge that conservatives in traditional media and the political establishment have pushed false narratives as well, but say that social media misinformation deserves special attention: It appears to be a growing problem, and it can be hard to track and understand.

Some believe that Latinos may be more likely to believe a message shared by friends, family members, or people from their cultural community in a WhatsApp or Telegram group rather than an arbitrary mainstream US news outlet; research has found that people believe news articles more when they’re shared by people they trust.

Fake news is also impacting our community’s response to the pandemic.

Vaccination programs work best when as many people as possible get vaccinated, but Latinos in the United States are getting inoculated at lower rates.

In Florida, for example, Latinos are 27% of the population but they’ve made up only about 17% of COVID-19 vaccinations so far, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. And Latinos are relying on social media and word-of-mouth for information on vaccines — even when it’s wrong. There’s myths circulating around the vaccine, whether you can trust it and the possible the long-term effects.

And it’s not just obstacles to getting information in Spanish, but also in many of the native Mayan indigenous languages that farmworkers speak in South Florida.

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Kanye West Received 60,000 Votes In His Run For U.S. President Across 12 Different States

Entertainment

Kanye West Received 60,000 Votes In His Run For U.S. President Across 12 Different States

Talk about a waste.

As the election edged closer to an end on Wednesday, rapper Kanye West finally threw in the towel and conceded a loss in his presidential run tweeting “WELP KANYE 2024” shortly after midnight. After a long night of waiting, the “Mercy” rapper tallied in a little over 60,000 votes for president of the United States. This is after being featured on the ballot in 12 states and bringing in millions of dollars (of which were primarily his own) to the campaign.

As of 10:30 a.m. PT on Wednesday, West’s exact count was 60,761.

According to Associated Press News, Kanye’s updated state-by-state count is below.

By 10:30 a.m. PT on Wednesday, with the exceptions of Colorado, Utah, Mississippi and Vermont, the states in question had above 90% of votes counted. Colorado, Utah, Mississippi and Vermont had only all above 70% counted.

Arkansas: 4,040
Colorado: 6,254
Idaho: 3,631
Iowa: 3,202
Kentucky: 6,259
Louisiana: 4,894
Minnesota: 7,789
Mississippi: 3,277
Oklahoma: 5,590
Tennessee: 10,216
Utah: 4,344
Vermont: 1,265

By midnight of the election, West’s name was trending on Twitter after he revealed that this would be his first time voting.

Kanye, who ran as an independent, received at least 60,000 votes from Americans. According to Deadline, “a few states were still under 80% reported as of this writing, our count puts him at 59,781 total votes. Thus, it’s a pretty good guess he’ll go over 60,000 by the time all states are fully counted.”

When it comes to states, West pulled in most votes from Tennessee, where he brought in a total of 10,188 votes. “While the rap mogul did rank 4th in some state races, his percentage of the vote was never more than .04%,” Deadline reports.

Soon after Joe Biden made his election night speech, Kanye tweeted his concession.

WELP KANYE 2024 🕊 pic.twitter.com/tJOZcxdArb

— ye (@kanyewest) November 4, 2020

According to The New York Times, West voted in Wyoming where he owns a ranch and has spent much of his time in quarantine. MarketWatch reports that West asked voters in California to write his name on their ballots but he reportedly missed the filing deadline to be a write-in candidate in the state.

According to the Federal Election Commission, the rapper raised $11.5 million for his campaign through mid-October. A little over ten million of those donations were loans made by West to his own campaign.

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