Hispanics and Latinos dominate in registered millennial voters for 2016.

Multiple national flags at York College's atrium
Multiple national flags at York College’s atrium including Puerto Rico’s and the Dominican Republic’s flag.

The Republican Party completely forget about Hispanic and Latino voters, experts say.

A recent survey discovered 44% of Millennials registered to vote for the 2016 Presidential elections will be Hispanic and Latino according to Pew Research Center article Millennials Make Up Almost Half of Latino Eligible Voters in 2016.

Gustavo Lopez and Renee Stepler of the Pew Research Center put together the information necessary to determine the Hispanic voter population in 43 states when writing Latinos in the 2016 election. Key states that reflect the highest Hispanic populations include Texas with about 10.4 million, California with about 15 million and New York with about 3.7 million.

“They call the Latino’s the sleeping giant” says Dr. Michael Sharpe, A political science professor and political expert at York College. “It already is a larger demographic and it will only continue to become larger. In fact I wrote an article about this. The thing is, whether or not Latinos will be motivated to go to the polls. So even though their demographic is large, political science research tells us that usually income and education are highly motivated to voting, also age.”

Support in Latino voters is notable in Senator Ted Cruz’s victory in the Texas caucus on March 1st and Senator Marco Rubio winning in approval ratings from Puerto Rico on March 6th. Rubio’s drop out of the race on the 16th was sudden at third place. Pressures from the candidacy stumped Rubio’s candidacy however, Cruz’s win in Texas reveals possible powers Hispanics may have in choosing out next president.

Puerto Rico's Rincon Flag spray painted on side walk steps in Queens, NY.
Puerto Rico’s Rincon Flag spray painted on side walk steps in Queens, NY.

Dr. Sharpe also discussed the very large groups Latinos and Hispanics have around the U.S. including black Hispanic, Cuban, Dominicans and even indigenous groups. He also mentioned the Latino community as being skewed because the republican side wants to gain Latino support. Issues such as abortion or supporting the Catholic Church are being focused on to lure in the diverse voters.

“I would say that the 2016 election will probably not be much different from 2012 in terms of the impact of Hispanic voters unless their voter turnout rate jumps significantly.” says political science professor Korey Hughes.“Hispanic voters have a turnout rate lower than white and black voters, and young people have lower voter turnout rates than older people and America’s Hispanic population is disproportionately young.”

Coverage on Donald Trump’s campaign by various media outlets has proven reckless and violent over recent days. His campaign speech in Chicago was canceled due to security concerns and growing violence taking place by Trump supporters. A 78 year old man faced assault charges on March 10th after assaulting a black man at a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina. These reckless actions toward others and disrespectful dialogue on the Hispanic and Latino community, experts say might be a strategy of Trump’s that leads to his demise as a possible president.

The successful efforts of Trump so far is what Dr. Sharpe calls the “Trump Effect.”

“What he’s doing is mobilizing people who haven’t participated before. Particularly white working class people who these days could be a part of the Obama effect and feel alienated from the process. He is, in a clever kind of way, bringing them into the fold and mobilizing them to get out there.” Says Dr. Sharpe. “I think he’s really alienated himself with Hispanic voters. I don’t think he’s counting on Latinos but he’s counting on white working class.”

Professor Hughes shares similar insight on Trump’s strategy and contributes an outcome of his hateful and racist statements

“The voters Trump is appealing to in Republican primary elections are quite different than the voters he would need to win a general election in November.  The Republican primary electorate is much smaller, much whiter and much more conservative than the general election electorate.  Trump is betting he gains more support amongst lower class white people by his anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim, anti-immigration comments, than he’ll lose.  That strategy might work for a primary election, but I think it might be problematic in a general election.”

Some York College students look towards the democratic presidential candidates in hopes of better representation.

“I guess people like the fact he’s being straight forward even though he is talking reckless” says York College Jr Inayat Bibi. Bibi has actually met Hilary Clinton at the Ellen Show and supports her candidacy but wishes she would open up more. “I feel like the people who are running should actually be committed to what they do. Now if Trump is saying he’s going to have Ids for all the immigrants, that’s not going to work out. You can’t ever do that and that would never happen, especially not in the United States.”

“Probably Hillary because of her campaign” says York College Sophomore and Accounting Major Alec Rajapa. He mentioned Hillary being the best candidate for obvious reasons and the republican side being less than appealing. “They joke around a lot and talk a lot of nonsense and stuff that seems unrealistic”.

Puerto Rican Flag 2
Puerto Rico’s Flag draped over the side of a local Queens residence’s gazebo.

Professor Hughes does mention an important fact about past Hispanic voter’s influence in the election process despite the higher number of black and white voters.

“However, just because the Hispanic vote might not be much more influential than 2012 doesn’t mean Hispanic voters won’t matter at all.  The Republican Party’s declining share of the Hispanic vote is an electoral problem.  If Mitt Romney, who got 27% of the Hispanic vote in 2012, had gotten George W. Bush’s share of the Hispanic vote, he would be president right now.”

 

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