latino lingo

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

If it's relevant, we will vote

There's been a lot in the media recently, and certainly since Super Tuesday, about the increased Latino vote, especially in places like California where Latinos for the first time performed as well as any other racial group in a statewide election.

For Democrats, Hispanics accounted for 30 percent of Tuesday's presidential primary vote (nearly double their percentage from the 2000 and 2004 primaries, according to the San Jose Mercury News). Hillary Clinton received 67 percent and Obama received 32 percent.

For Republicans, Hispanics accounted for a record 13 percent of the vote. Up from 9 percent in 2000 and 5 percent in 2004, according to the article. McCain received 39 percent and Romney received 27 percent.

Regardless of who spent more money in advertising, which so many media focus on, the candidates did a remarkable job of making the election and the issues relevant for Latinos. Not just in California, but in places all over the country. They, and countless groups supporting the candidates, also spent a great deal of time courting the vote and educating Latinos on the election process.

Because of that, the record turn out shouldn't be all that surprising. The overall voting rate in Latin America is approximately 55%. Puerto Rico has an 80+% voting rate.

The candidates that incorrectly assume Latinos don't vote should visit these compelling statistics and realize they don't vote for you because you're not speaking with them but rather to them. The other issues do include aspects like lack of awareness of the election process in the U.S. (in many countries you don't have to even register to vote), and lack of involvement in the political process, etc. But, those obstacles don't get in the way when there is compelling and relevant communication to us, as evidenced by the record Latino turn out in this national election.

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