Record num­ber of Lati­nos to serve in Congress next year

The Bradenton Herald - - Nation & World - BY LUIS ALONSO LUGO AND EMILY SWAN­SON

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.


In­cum­bent U.S. Rep. Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, a Repub­li­can from Wash­ing­ton, was de­clared the win­ner of her race.

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