Record num­ber of Lati­nos set to serve in Congress

Centre Daily Times - - Front Page - BY LUIS ALONSO LUGO AND EMILY SWAN­SON As­so­ci­ated Press

WASH­ING­TON

More Lati­nos will serve in Congress next year than ever be­fore — at least 42, with one House race to be de­cided.

With Lati­nos reach­ing an un­prece­dented level of rep­re­sen­ta­tion on Capi­tol Hill, The As­so­ci­ated Press was able to doc­u­ment that 34 per­cent of His­panic vot­ers ap­prove of how Don­ald Trump is han­dling his job as pres­i­dent, and other fac­tors that mo­bi­lized the vote among the na­tion’s largest eth­nic or ra­cial mi­nor­ity.

The lat­est Latina win­ner was GOP Rep. Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler of Wash­ing­ton state, who claimed vic­tory Wed­nes­day for a fifth term over Demo­crat Carolyn Long.

In the race for an open seat in a GOP-held dis­trict that in­cludes part of Or­ange County, Cal­i­for­nia, Demo­crat Gil Cis­neros trails Repub­li­can Young Kim, who’s try­ing to be­come the first Korean-Amer­i­can im­mi­grant woman elected to the House. Cis­neros is a first-time can­di­date who won a $266 mil­lion lot­tery jack­pot.

Thirty-three of 44 Latino Demo­cratic can­di­dates and seven of 15 Latino Repub­li­can

can­di­dates won their races. Two Latino sen­a­tors weren’t on Tues­day’s bal­lot: Florida Repub­li­can Marco Ru­bio and Ne­vada Demo­crat Cather­ine Cortez Masto. Ac­cord­ing to AP VoteCast, a new tool that re­placed the in-per­son exit poll as a source of de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about the Amer­i­can elec­torate, al­most one-third of His­pan­ics vot­ers ap­prove of how Trump is han­dling the pres­i­dency, while 66 per­cent said they dis­ap­prove. The rate of ap­proval may sur­prise some, given the harsh rhetoric Trump has used about His­pan­ics. He called Mex­i­can im­mi­grants “rapists” and “crim­i­nals” when he first an­nounced his bid for the White House in the sum­mer of 2015. More than 4 in 10 His­panic vot­ers said they ap­prove of how Trump is han­dling the econ­omy, and about 4 in 10 said he’s a strong leader. The un­em­ploy­ment rate for Amer­i­cans of His­panic or Latino eth­nic­ity fell to 4.4 per­cent in Oc­to­ber, the low­est recorded level for this group since 1973. Asked whether Trump was a fac­tor in their votes, 19 per­cent said they voted to sup­port him, 49 per­cent voted to op­pose him and 31 per­cent said Trump was not a fac­tor in their votes. About 64 per­cent of Lati­nos voted for Demo­cratic con­gres­sional can­di­dates and 33 per­cent voted for Repub­li­cans. Latino women were more likely to vote for Democrats than Latino men, 68 per­cent to 59 per­cent. Younger Lati­nos were even more Demo­cratic than their older coun­ter­parts, with 68 per­cent of those un­der age 45 vot­ing for Democrats com­pared with 59 per­cent of those age 45 and over. AP VoteCast is an in­no­va­tive na­tion­wide sur­vey of vot­ers na­tion­wide, in­clud­ing 7,738 Latino vot­ers. The sur­vey showed 26 per­cent of Latino vot­ers said im­mi­gra­tion was the most im­por­tant is­sue fac­ing the coun­try, 23 per­cent said health care and 18 per­cent said the econ­omy. That’s com­pa­ra­ble to the break­down among vot­ers over­all. Three-quar­ters of Lati­nos said they think im­mi­grants do more to help the coun­try than to hurt it, and 8 in 10 said they think im­mi­grants liv­ing in the U.S. il­le­gally should be of­fered a chance to ap­ply for le­gal sta­tus. Two-thirds said they op­pose build­ing a wall along the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der. In Florida’s Se­nate race, His­pan­ics were some­what more likely to say they voted for the Repub­li­can can­di­date than His­pan­ics na­tion­wide, with 45 per­cent over­all vot­ing for Repub­li­can Rick Scott, in­clud­ing 59 per­cent of Cubans. AP VoteCast is a sur­vey of the Amer­i­can elec­torate con­ducted in all 50 states by NORC at the Univer­sity of Chicago for the AP and Fox News. The sur­vey of 116,792 vot­ers and 22,137 non­vot­ers was con­ducted Oct. 31 to Nov. 6, con­clud­ing as polls closed on Elec­tion Day. It com­bined in­ter­views in English and Span­ish with a ran­dom sam­ple of reg­is­tered vot­ers drawn from state voter files; with self­i­den­ti­fied reg­is­tered vot­ers con­ducted us­ing NORC’s prob­a­bil­ity-based Amer­iS­peak panel, which is de­signed to be rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion; and with self-iden­ti­fied reg­is­tered vot­ers se­lected from non­prob­a­bil­ity on­line pan­els. Par­tic­i­pants se­lected from state voter files were con­tacted by phone and mail, and had the op­por­tu­nity to take the sur­vey by phone or on­line. The mar­gin of sam­pling er­ror for vot­ers is es­ti­mated to be plus or mi­nus 0.5 per­cent­age points.

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