Where the Top Democratic Primary Candidates Stand with Latino Voters

Which of the Democrats will win over Latinos in the primaries? While it´s still not clear, there is one thing that is: the Latino vote could swing the Democratic primary. Although Latinos are not homogenous in their opinions on practically anything (abortion, immigration, religion, etc.), the Democrat who wins the Latino vote in the primary is likely to be the one who best denounces the racism that has swept the country under the Trump administration, an opinion that somehow manages to unify this diverse voting group. In a USA Today poll, 70 percent of Latino voters felt that Trump’s rhetoric has encouraged anti-immigrant sentiment, racism or discrimination in the U.S. 

As of early December, the Democratic presidential contest in California — a state that has tremendous sway in predicting the outcome of the primary across the nation — remains fluid. A poll for the Los Angeles Times found that both Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who was the frontrunner in California in September, and former Vice President Joe Biden, lost ground among California´s Democratic primary voters. This drop in votes gave Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who narrowly tops the primary field, a boost. It has also helped Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., who has doubled his support in the state since the last September poll. As for the controversial former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg and his chances of seducing Latino voters in the next months, the odds are low. 

At this point in the race Latino, democratic voters are not sticking with a set candidate, but are still open to changing their opinions. So where do the candidates stand with Latino voters and their issues? Here´s a look at what the remaining candidates have been doing right and what they´ve been doing wrong to win their vote.

2Elizabeth Warren

The Massachusetts senator has been a favorite for liberal Latinos for having been in touch with the leadership of Latino advocacy organizations since long before she launched her campaign. Yet, according to the Washington Post in early December, Warren is not pulling heavily from nonwhite voters as of yet in comparison to Sanders and Biden.

Activists in the Latino community say that Warren is stepping up her efforts, most notably by hiring a national Latino outreach director, Jonathan Jayes-Green, a respected organizer of Panamanian descent, for the job and increasing her familiarity among Latinos to court them. She is also liked by Latinas for her plan, which is referred to on her website, to help women of color boost their wages and open up new pathways to the leadership positions they deserve.