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What Latino Voters Want In A Presidential Candidate

Immigration rights activist Angel Ulloa views a Democratic debate broadcast during a debate watch party on June 26, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Immigration rights activist Angel Ulloa views a Democratic debate broadcast during a debate watch party on June 26, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

On the eve of Super Tuesday, we’ll talk with Latino voters. We’ll discuss their political diversity, growing political power and potential impact on the 2020 presidential race.


Joaquin Castro, Texas congressman. Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. (@JoaquinCastrotx)

Julio Ricardo Varela, co-host of the podcast “In The Thick.” Founder of LatinoRebels.com. (@julito77)

Sonja Diaz, founding director of UCLA’s Latino Policy and Politics Initiative. (@UCLAlatino)

Jeronimo Cortina, associate professor of political science and associate director at the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston. (@jcortina)

From The Reading List

The Dallas Morning News: “Desire for drastic change driving Texas Latino voters to embrace ‘Tío Bernie’ Sanders” — “Clad in ‘Tío Bernie’ shirts and plastering Bernie Sanders’ face on to the popular Abuelita Mexican hot chocolate in memes, Latino voters in Texas are ‘feeling the bern’ for the Democratic front-runner to be their party’s presidential nominee.

“’The Tío Bernie shirts are hot right now,’ said Carlos Martínez , a 44-year-old activist and photographer in Austin. ‘We’ve been calling him ‘Tío Bernie,’ ‘El Viejito.’ ‘El Abuelito.’

“But more importantly than the familial monikers, Martínez said, it’s Sanders’ policies of ‘Medicare for All,’ free college tuition at public universities and a federal guarantee for jobs that pay a living wage that appeals to Latino voters, especially younger progressives.”

USA Today: “Bernie Sanders leads Democratic primary candidates with Texas Latino voters in new poll” — “Bernie Sanders may have drawn a maelstrom of criticism from Florida Hispanics following his comments on Fidel Castro. But he remains an attractive choice for Texas Latinos.

“The Vermont senator leads all Democratic primary challengers among Latino voters in Texas, according to a poll released Friday by Univision Noticias and the University of Houston’s Center for Mexican American Studies. Sanders garnered 31% of Latino support in Texas, followed by media mogul Mike Bloomberg with 23% and former Vice President Joe Biden with 19%, according to the poll.

“Sanders also did best in head-to-head scenarios against President Donald Trump, beating out the president 65% to 25% among Texas Latinos, besting other candidates by at least 8 percentage points. Texas Latino voters also disapprove of the current president, 62% to 38%, the poll said.”

The New York Times: “Black and Latino Voters Are Looking for ‘More Than Just Some Token Words’” — “Kristina Alvarez, a 36-year-old medical aide in Las Vegas, knows how badly the Democrats want her attention and ideally her vote. So does JA Moore, 34, a state representative in Charleston, S.C., whose endorsement was highly sought after.

“The people being wooed most aggressively by Democratic candidates at the moment — Latino voters in Nevada and black voters in South Carolina — are essential to victory in both states, where white voters make up less than half of the Democratic electorate. The courtship includes mariachi bands and gospel choirs at campaign events, and an extensive debate stage discussion about the importance of “black and brown” voters.

“It’s a one-size-fits-all approach in many ways, and it’s not always resonating with the voters the all-white top tier of 2020 candidates are hoping to reach.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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