In Texas, Latinos Just Didn’t Vote

While this Chron article is saying that the Latino vote split among the two political parties, and this Statesman article points to discrepancies in GOP exit polling on Latinos and that the GOP didn’t get the numbers they say they got,  it is pretty obvious that Latinos just didn’t vote. While the Republicans will celebrate supposedly higher percentages of support, the fact will remain that Latinos are a lot more progressive thinking than the backwards-thinking GOP.

As the article states, Latinos made up 17% of those voting on Tuesday in Texas (8% nationally) and there was an obvious decrease in Latino turnout compared to 2010 (I haven’t seen a turnout number, but I’d venture to guess about 16% to 18% of [eligible] Latinos turned out on Tuesday)*. [Update:  The Immigration Policy Center reports that there are 2.7 million registered Latino voters in Texas, so that would change my estimate of Latino turnout to 28 to 30 percent. So, obviously, I’m still looking for harder numbers which no one seems to provide.] 

The evidence becomes a lot more obvious in the race for Congress, District 23.

In the state’s only competitive congressional race, a heavily Hispanic district between San Antonio and El Paso, Republican challenger Will Hurd narrowly beat Democratic incumbent Pete Gallego.

Democrats say that had less to do with Republican inroads than general voter apathy in midterm elections. “Latinos either voted for Pete or stayed home,” said Gallego strategist Anthony Gutierrez. “They were not voting for Will Hurd in numbers that would justify saying he made in-roads among Latinos.”

Republicans have won this seat in the past because of the high-turnout Anglo areas in San Antonio and Medina County, and because turnout on the border is low. It’s obvious, when Latinos don’t vote in Texas, Democrats lose, and the 1/3 of Latinos who usually vote for the right-wingers become a bigger share of the Latino electorate.

But leave it to the Republicans to celebrate higher percentages of Latinos for themselves (by  few percentage points, according to the poll mentioned in the Statesman), rather than lament the fact that a lower number of Latinos voted. In fact, this was their goal all along, given their redistricting tactics.

Still, already Republicans are talking that same tired line that Latinos are conservative, when a poll found that issues like immigration, economy/jobs, education, and health care access are the top issues; issues Republicans have voted against Latinos on time and again. No, Republicans, you are wrong and you will always be wrong about Latinos.

The Statesman article, though, does point to a bigger problem, which I first mentioned in yesterday’s post:

Statesman:

Democratic consultant James Aldrete, who advised Davis and Van de Putte, said the poll shows the Democrats have “a white people problem” – and, admittedly, a turnout problem – but that “We don’t have a Hispanic problem.”

Me:

Still, I can’t help but chuckle when asked by Anglo Dems:  How do we get Latinos to vote? And I want to ask:  How do we stop Anglos from giving 80% of their vote to bigoted Republicans? But that may open up a whole other bushel of jalapeños.

That said, it still doesn’t explain why Latinos didn’t vote. While Democrats probably had more of an effort to contact Latino voters, nationally, a poll found that less than half of Latino voters had been contacted by campaigns. Others blame Voter ID, which has disenfranchised many Latinos. And the more obvious one that has been on the news and this blog is President Obama’s political move to delay executive action to save a few anti-immigrant Democrats (although I point to an even bigger problem regarding immigration, so read that post).

I’m more inclined to state that these may have lowered turnout of usual mid-term Latino voters; however, there are plenty more Latinos who just don’t vote. Why is this? Whether it’s the media, Democrats, Democratic donors, and certainly Republicans, no one has tried to find out. But if the intent is to change the mind of only those who usually vote, then, Democrats should expect lower turnout in 2016. Maybe we should start by reading this article?

Some might say Latinos are content as long as they have their big screen TVs, Texans/Dynamo/Rockets/Astros tickets and gear, and a life that just goes on without many challenges caused by bad public policies. In other words, la pinche huevonada, as my late Dad called it. If this is the case, here in Harris County even the suburbs suffered from lax turnout (example, District 132 in Katy/Cypress area had 33%), but they were Republican-heavy enough to win handily. So, maybe everyone has la pinche huevonada, not just Latinos, in 2014.

Obviously, our civic duty took a major hit across the board, given that only 1/3 of Texans voted. When one takes all the numbers into consideration, Greg Abbott really earned the support of 19% of the 14 million registered Texans (thanks to my friend Susan for that point of fact). It is wrong for so few people to give that much power to one right-wing zealot. But it is what it is.

Civic duty doesn’t stop with voting, so, my hope is that the pendejos folks that didn’t vote wake up when Abbott, Dan Patrick and their buddies begin to dismantle Texas as we know it. Because civic participation also means we can march down Congress Avenue to the Capitol and demand something different than what is being offered.

Pilar Marrero of La Opinion in LA offers some more perspective.

* There’s been some confusion on Latino turnout, which is why I stated “eligible,” since that is the term used in various articles by groups like NALEO, but that didn’t necessarily mean “registered.” The Immigration Policy Center states that there are 2.7 million registered Latino voters in Texas, which, if there were an estimated 800,000 Latinos who voted in the 2014 election,  then we’re looking at more like 28 to 30 percent Latino turnout. Still, lower than 2010. Obviously, Latinos still didn’t show up.

About these ads

It’s Not Just About the Delay on Executive Action

News agencies and pundits have been writing a lot about the failed tactic by President Obama to hold off on executive action on immigration to help a few Democrats win in tough states as the reason Latinos stayed home. I’m sure it’s just one of many reasons.

That said, anti-immigrant Democrats like Kay Hagan pushed the President to not sign anything while they were running to be re-elected so as not to piss off supporters that apparently weren’t even there. The resulting move to the far-right by these Democrats, evidenced in their ads, didn’t work, obviously.

So, now, news people are more than willing to say that Latino turnout may have been affected by the delay. They’re only partially correct. Latino Decisions’ poll stated that immigration became the most important issue for Latinos, nationally, but the delay was more than likely the straw that broke the donkey’s back.

ropemDemocratic activists, candidates, and the White House have been too willing to merrily go on portraying themselves as “pro-immigrant” while the Obama administration has deported over 2,000,000 mostly non-criminal immigrants, warehoused tens of thousands more, and used Central American children escaping poverty and violence as a political piñata for their own (and Republicans’ own) benefit. Six years of punitive policies can wear a group of people down, including citizen-Latinos who vote and who have grown tired of being included in the vitriol (mostly from Republicans, but recently by the likes of Hagan, Landrieu, and Alison Grimes) simply for being the easiest scapegoat.

Of course, all of this is based on a 2007-08 promise by candidate Obama to get this done in year 1 of term 1. Obamacare took precedence, obviously, and a DREAM Act loss in 2010 because of 5 anti-immigrant Democrats looking to get re-elected started the whole questioning of Obama’s direction. Then after DACA energized Latinos in 2012, the second term started with a failed gun control effort taking precedence, thus, wasting political capital that should have been used on immigration reform. Then, we know how the whole bipartisan thing went.

Sure, the Republicans are awful, but as I’ve always said (and made Obama supporters cringe) it is the President who holds the keys to the deportation buses. And it is the President who has held off on immigration reform and executive action for six years, in favor of other legislation, and opting for the illusion that a few political and legislative victories would give him more positive press and polling. Or, perhaps some political capital.

And, now, the Republicans are in charge of some of the governing, as of January 1. President Obama indicates that he will take executive action “by the end of the year” if he doesn’t see an indication by the lame-duck Congress or the incoming leadership to do something. Boehner today warned Obama not to do it, while also stating that the House would not vote on S.744.

It shouldn’t be shocking that the Republicans are talking about immigration reform after winning. They are more than willing to vote on something that is punitive, wastes more tax money on the border, builds more prisons to warehouse humans (as long as it’s Obama that sends them there) and sends profits to their private prison buddies, and that will include a no-citizenship, no-worker rights, just work and be quiet, type of amnesty. Of course, they won’t call it amnesty. The big question is:  When will they do it? Or is it just talk with the option of blaming Obama and Democrats for gridlock when they talk down a very bad GOP proposal?

So, executive action may well be a very temporary thing if it pushes the Republican leadership to supercede the President with their own bill in 2015. Some Democrats, now that they’ve lost everything, are saying Obama should be bold and force Republicans to bash and rescind executive action so Latinos will be anti-Republican in 2016.

Frankly, playing politics with human lives is not my idea of good politics, even for a political victory. There have been smarter ways of achieving political victories by just being bold, but there is no doubt that the President’s clock to be effectively bold is ticking to a stopping point. And fast.

But, no, it wasn’t just about the delay.

President Obama needs to the sign the boldest of executive actions that will stop his family-separating deportation machine and expand DACA to cover more families if he wants to be politically and legislatively effective. It all depends on what kind of legacy he really wants to leave. At least in the eyes of Latinos who gave him 70+% of their votes.

Still, I can’t help but chuckle when asked by Anglo Dems:  How do we get Latinos to vote? And I want to ask:  How do we stop Anglos from giving 80% of their vote to bigoted Republicans? But that may open up a whole other bushel of jalapeños.

 

Latino Decisions Releases Poll on E-Day

Latino Decisions released a poll today detailing how Tejanos (Texas Latinos) feel about various issues. The most important poll, though, is at your polling location. Find yours and go vote!

 

Here are the highlights:

Most Important Issues

  • Jobs/Economy – 28%
  • Immigration – 43%
  • Health Care/Medicaid – 17%
  • Education/Schools – 22%

I’m voting in 2014 because…

  • I wanted to support the Democratic candidate – 40%
  • I wanted to support the Republican candidate – 16%
  • I wanted to support and represent the Latino community – 34%

How important is the issue of immigration in your decision to vote, and who to vote for.

  • Most important – 33%
  • One of the most important – 36%
  • Somewhat important – 17%

60% of Texas Latinos know someone who is undocumented, according to the poll.

Well, there you have it. By the looks of it, Republicans don’t have a shot at much of the Latino vote. But it is all about turnout today. So, go vote!

IN OTHER STATES

There are some states that were the cause for President Obama’s delay on executive action, such as North Carolina. In North Carolina, immigration was the most important issue for Latinos at 57%. 45% in Colorado. 57% in Georgia. Just food for thought as we await tonight’s results.

 

 

Mike Collier for Texas Comptroller: Vote for the CPA

Mike Collier is running for Texas Comptroller–the State of Texas’ bean counter. You know when candidates say they are “uniquely” qualified for a position? Well, Mike’s a CPA. While he’ll have a great staff to back him up in Austin, we can be secure in the knowledge that when he is providing financial projections, talking about budgets and other financial stuff, he’ll actually know what he’s talking about. Check out his ad–one of my favorites of the season:

Sam Houston for Texas AG: The Best Choice

Here’s an ad from Sam Houston, Democrat for Texas Attorney General. I met him Mr. Houston at a breakfast in which I got to introduce him. He’s from the same small town as I; except, his is called Colorado City out in West Texas. He’s a small-town boy that ended up making it in the big city, and you just have to like that kind of story. Check out the ad:

Little Joe Energizes Activists for Leticia Van de Putte

With the help of Tex-Mex legend Little Joe Hernandez, Leticia Van de Putte, Democrat for Lt. Governor, energized activists at a rally held at the Communications Workers of America Hall in Houston.

letijoeAlong with a fiery speech by Van de Putte, Little Joe y La Familia performed for the crowd. Van de Putte has been on a bus tour of Texas that will take her 6,000 miles to dozens of towns and cities. Energetic crowds have welcomed her and have turned into phone banking activists for the candidate and the slate of Democrats.

Van de Putte has challenged right-wing favorite Dan Patrick for his divisive vitriol and attacks against immigrants, women, and others. Calling it a lack of respect for these groups, Van de Putte has vowed to run an effective State Senate, rather than one based on agendas, such as Patrick’s.

Little Joe added that it is Van de Putte who will serve all Texans, especially those who often go ignored–the poor, minorities, women. Hernandez has been a vocal supporter of Van de Putte and Wendy Davis, as is evidenced in the video below, as he performs  the anthemic, Las Nubes.

Kim Ogg for DA ~ Let’s Make Justice Work

As I was eating a delicious breakfast at Alfreda’s Soulfood Cafe on Almeda this morning (you need to check it out!), this ad popped up on the TV. I must say it’s one of the best responses to an attack ad. The current DA (Anderson) attacked Kim Ogg as “dangerous” without any explanation. Kim Ogg’s response is perfect. Check it out.

Luis Lopez for HD132 ~ Running to Ensure a Prosperous Texas

First, the video:

Luis Lopez is a young Texan running for Texas House District 132. If you live in HD-132, Luis needs your vote, but he also needs all Texans to contribute what you can. $5, $10, $25–he will spend it wisely to Get Out The Vote from now until Election Day. Contribute TODAY at this link.

luisLuis Lopez was born in Mexico and arrived to the USA at the age of 7. He was raised with 4 sisters and 3 brothers. Luis has known challenges throughout his life, but he has also worked hard to overcome them.  His brother was deported at the age of 15. Luis worked in construction within local refineries in Beaumont through high school and college. During high school he founded a youth LULAC Council, developed the Hispanic Forum, and graduated 4th in his class.

Luis is a proud graduate of Lamar University where he earned his Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Accounting in 4 ½ years. In college he managed a school board campaign, led efforts for the DREAMers on campus, established a chapter of the oldest Latino fraternity in existence, and founded a small logistics & transportation business.

Luis was recruited by the top international accounting firm in the USA and relocated to Katy upon graduating. He and his wife Guadalupe are proud parents of their beautiful one year-old daughter Abigail Lorenza. Luis Lopez is the Democratic candidate for State Representative, District 132.

District 132 needs an innovator, like Luis, and not more of the same. Instead of doing the bidding for big business and big contributors, Luis Lopez thinks it’s time to give the district back to the people. So, join his campaign, give a few dollars, and vote for Luis Lopez.

District 132′s Early Voting Location is at the Franz Road Storefront, or at any early voting location until Friday at 7pm.

To find your Tuesday, November 4th polling location, click here, input the information requested, and you’ll get your very own sample ballot and polling location information.

 

 

Thursday: Leticia and Little Joe in Houston

ljoe

He’s been a very public supporter of Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte at his concerts, so, it is great to hear that Jose Maria de Leon Hernandez–Little Joe–will be in Houston on Thursday to rally support for Van de Putte.

Little Joe (and his brother Johnny who now lives in California) has deep roots in Texas political culture and has always been up to the task of rallying the people for anything having to do with voting, legislation, and even public health issues like diabetes. He’s still a prominent voice for change and progress, especially in the Mexican American community.

Here are the details for the rally and performance:

Houston THURSDAY 5:30pm
CWA Hall, 1730 Jefferson St., Downtown Houston
Featuring a performance by Little Joe!
Other speakers TDB

 

Saturday in Houston’s Northside: Loteria The Vote!

Click image to enlarge. This sounds like a fun event–Food, Music, Voting! Democrat for Lt. Governor, Leticia Van de Putte, will be there to shake hands and speak. Now, this is democracy!
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