The main program of the National Democratic Convention has a small number of Latino leaders taking the floor. The Global Hispanic Caucus is disappointed by this decision. Amerika García-Grewal, chair of the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus, explained that “This is a missed opportunity to inspire and mobilize Latinos whose votes are going to be crucial in these elections.”
Latinos are the country’s second largest racial or ethnic group, behind white non-Hispanics, reaching nearly 61 million in 2019. The 2020 election will mark the first time that Hispanics will be the largest minority group in the electorate, accounting for just over 13% of eligible voters – slightly more than the black community. According to research based on past elections and surveys conducted by research centers, in many States over half of Latinos are registered and unlikely to vote, or are not registered to vote.
A powerful tool to inspire Latinos is seeing Latino political leaders speaking at major events; the Democratic Convention being one of them. It’s true that most Latinos are fairly set in their vote choice; few are traditional swing voters. But Democrats should be concerned that an ambivalent voter could swing to the couch, reducing turnout.
According to recent research by the Pew Centre, Latinas are key to winning back the White House in 2020. They are far more likely to go out and vote. Yet, politicians need to speak to the issues that matter most to them and earn their trust before earning their vote. Latinas are key influencers in their communities and can make resounding arguments to get family and friends to the polls. If the Democratic Party wants Latinas to help mobilize their community, the party needs to create a self-fulfilling prophecy around their decisive impact on the process. Higher representation of Latina speakers at the Convention is one way to help do that.
Latinos are key to Democrats re-taking the White House and Congress, they should play a more prominent role in the upcoming Convention.