Politics

North Carolina Breaks Latino Voter Registration Record

| by Robert Fowler

A civic media organization has registered over 7,000 Latinos to vote in North Carolina, a pivotal battleground state. The uptick in Latino registration across the country could spell big trouble for GOP nominee Donald Trump.

The nonpartisan Voto Latino has helped 101,720 citizens register to vote from November 2015 through October 2016, reaching out and activating potential voters largely online. The states where they have registered the most new voters are Texas, California, Florida and North Carolina, The Washington Post reports.

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FiveThirtyEight, the polling website spearheaded by statistician Nate Silver, projects North Carolina to be the fourth most important battleground in the 2016 presidential election, with an 8.4 percent chance of tipping the entire race.

Hispanics make up two percent of North Carolina’s registered voters, but that could make all the difference in a tight race.

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Aggregating the last five state polls released since Sept. 23, RealClearPolitics found that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leads Trump in the Tar Heel State by an average 2.6 percentage points.

“Every vote will matter this year as another close vote takes place,” director Hector Vaca of ActionNC told The Hill. “A lot more people are motivated to vote because of all this hateful rhetoric.”

Trump has proposed building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and deporting roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants from the country. Coupled with his rhetoric, the business mogul’s campaign has largely alienated Latino voters.

On Oct. 6, a new poll conducted by analysis firm Latino Decisions found that Trump is only expected to win between 9.5 and 20.5 percent of the Latino vote in November. Meanwhile, they project that Clinton could garner more Latino votes than any other presidential candidate in U.S. history, with a threshold between 76.5 and 87.5 percent.

“In terms of the share of the Latino vote that GOP presidential candidates are going to get, this will be the lowest in history,” senior analyst Adrian Pantoja of Latino Decisions told Dallas News.

“It will be dismal and historic -- no Republican has done as bad,” Pantoja added. “And it’s just another example of a campaign that has not been engaged with Latino voters and has not taken them seriously.”

By contrast, former President George W. Bush captured 40 percent of the Latino vote in the 2004 election.

Trump’s unpopularity with Latino voters could also cost him Florida, a state that is considered a must-win for his electoral strategy. A poll conducted by TelOpinion Research found that Clinton leads Trump among likely Latino voters in the Sunshine State by 54 to 30 percent, according to Politico.

“Every four years you have potentially a million new Latino adults who have naturalized as citizens and become involved in the electoral process and then in years when they’re angry at one of the candidates or very supportive of one of the candidates they become involved even more,” professor Louis Desipio of U.C. Irvine told KPCC.

“[Trump] started his campaign with an anti-Mexican diatribe and he’s doubled down since,” Desipio added. “So I think Latinos have gotten that message and it’s certainly been enforced by leaders of the Latino community and by the Spanish language media."

Sources: Dallas News, FiveThirtyEightThe Hill (2), Politico, RealClearPolitics, KPCCThe Washington Post / Photo credit: CNN

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