Record number of Latinos expected to vote in Arizona midterm election
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It’s estimated that 644,600 Latino voters will cast a ballot in the 2022 midterm elections in Arizona this year, a record number.
That estimate made by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
“At the end of the day, one of the things we always say, the Latino vote shouldn’t be taken for granted,” said Dorian Caal, the director of research for NALEO.
And with numbers that large, and Caal says that’s a conservative estimate, no one will be taking the Latino vote for granted.
The increase in voters is the result of 20 years of aggressive outreach.
In 2002 in Arizona, 155,000 Latinos cast a ballot in the state. If this year’s estimate holds up, it would be a more than a four fold increase in only two decades.
The increase is due in part because the Latino community is not a one issue voting bloc anymore. Immigration has always been the predominate issue for Hispanics.
“There are also other issues that are important that we sometimes don’t associate with the community,” Caal said. “Climate for example, climate change more specifically.”
But other, more mainstream issues have come to the forefront.
The economy, education, good paying jobs, jobs that pay well enough to maintain a high standard of living are issues which may now claim the Latino vote according to Caal.
Still, even though they vote in bigger numbers, it has not translated into success for those seeking higher office.
A Democrat, Raul Castro, was elected Governor in 1974 but the community has been shut out of statewide office since.
Still, Hispanics hold more than 330 local offices from school board to state representatives but statewide has still proven elusive.
But with power at the ballot box, that’s destined to change.
Right now, 45% of the Latino vote registers Democrat while only 15% register Republican. But the rest of the community is following national trends.
“It’s somewhat of a trend right now that is happening not only in the Latino community where voters are registering as other than the two main Democratic and Republican parties,” he said.
And with those Latinos who have become most engaged being between the ages of 18 to 34, the trend will likely continue and be baked in for years to come meaning politicians will likely need to pay attention.
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