At Latinos and the Midterm Election event, panelists are skeptical of large Latino voter turnout

“The parties are not talking to them”

At Latinos and the Midterm Election event, panelists are skeptical of large Latino voter turnout

A crowd begins to form for the Latinos and the Midterm Election panel on Oct. 30. 

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the School of Communication hosted an event titled Latinos and The Midterm Election Panel, discussing how important Latino voices are to the upcoming midterm elections on Oct. 30.

Eric Hershberg, the director of AU’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, moderated the discussion between CNN reporters Antoine Sanfuentes and Boris Sanchez, Telemundo reporter Lori Montenegro, Univision reporter Fernando Pizarro and NBC Latino reporter Patricia Guadalupe.

Hershberg began the discussion by asking the panelists where the Latino population factors in regarding the upcoming election.

“In 2012, only 48 percent of eligible Latino voters cast their ballot, and in 2014 only 36 percent of eligible Latino voters cast their ballot,” Hershberg said.

2018 projects a different outcome. The panel analyzed a study from Pew Research Center, showing that 7.8 million Latinos will vote in the 2018 election, and recognized the Latino voice as a “sleeping giant.”

While the polls recognize a higher percentage of Latino voters turning out, a majority of the panelists agreed that they had to wait until Nov. 6 to believe it.

While Guadalupe believes there will be a historic turnout for Latino voters, she addressed tactics that would prevent millions of Latinos from showing up to the polls.

“We have to keep in mind voter intimidation and voter suppression, especially the races that are very neck and neck,” Guadalupe said. “With a growing number of minority voters, there is a growing number of requirements.”

Sanchez believes that there is not one particular issue that will push Latino citizens to vote.

“I couldn't tell you that in this midterm election that there will be any one thing driving voters, so ultimately I don't know if words are going to move people to the voting booths,” Sanchez said.

Pizarro suspects that many Latino voters will not vote simply because they cannot find common ground with any party or candidate.

“The parties are not talking to them. You’d think there would be Latino fighter power ready to go,” Pizarro said. “I would like to see this wave of Latino vote become a reality, but I remain skeptical.”

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