WILL LATI­NOS VOTE FOR THE OP­PO­SI­TION?

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - AFP

LOS AN­GE­LES

- Drug deal­ers, sex­ual preda­tors, "poi­sonous snakes" blamed for all the ills plagu­ing US so­ci­ety: Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has cast Latino im­mi­grants as pub­lic enemy nu­mero uno in his ral­lies and tweets in the runup to Novem­ber 6.

But oddly enough, mil­lions of His­panic vot­ers do not ap­pear set on tak­ing re­venge at the polls: no sur­veys in­di­cate a Latino wave to turf Repub­li­cans out of Congress come Tues­day.

What's go­ing on? Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, Trump's re­peated in­sults and bul­ly­ing haven't had the ef­fect of push­ing Lati­nos to­ward the Demo­crat party - rather they have driven them from vot­ing at all.

"In 2016 many an­a­lysts had pointed to then-can­di­date Trump's com­ments on Mex­i­can im­mi­grants and His­pan­ics as per­haps be­ing a mo­ti­va­tor to get Lati­nos to the polls," said Mark Hugo Lopez, di­rec­tor of global mi­gra­tion and de­mog­ra­phy re­search at Pew Re­search Cen­ter. But in re­al­ity, he says, "the turnout fell."

And 30 per cent of all His­pan­ics ended up in fact vot­ing for Trump.

There are 29 mil­lion His­pan­ics reg­is­tered to vote in the midterm elec­tions, where all 435 seats from the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives are up for grabs, onethird of the Se­nate, the gover­nors of 36 states and nu­mer­ous lo­cal of­fi­cials in­clud­ing judges, sher­iffs and at­tor­neys gen­eral.

Burned by their fail­ures to ac­cu­rately pre­dict the 2016 pres­i­den­tial vote, many an­a­lysts are strik­ing a more cau­tious note.

"It re­mains to be seen what will hap­pen this year. Lati­nos may be more in­ter­ested in vot­ing but there are many in­di­ca­tions that per­haps the turnout rate may not rise much com­pared to 2014," said Lopez.

When midterms were held that year the turnout rate was only 27 per cent for the de­mo­graphic - a his­tory low, ac­cord­ing to Pew Re­search. - Veter­ans and Evan­gel­i­cals -

It ends up be­ing a vi­cious cir­cle: the fewer Lati­nos are mo­bilised, the less the ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties spend gear­ing their plat­forms to ad­dress the com­mu­nity's con­cerns.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

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