The Dallas Morning News ran an excellent short editorial today encouraging Latinos to vote in the coming election. Historically, Latinos vote in smaller percentages than other ethnic groups. There may be cultural reasons for this, but the failure to vote hurts Latino causes -— whether that is immigration reform or economic recovery. I want to join the newspaper in urging Latinos, and everyone else, to vote November 2. Here is the editorial:
This probably isn’t the first editorial you’ve read urging Latinos to make their mark at the polls. We’ve written some ourselves, so this plea to Texas’ Hispanic voters is not new to us, either.
Nevertheless, the point remains. From jobs to education to immigration, Hispanic voters have quite a bit at stake in November’s mid-term election. Yet some recent polling data suggests a significant number of registered Latino voters may sit this one out.
The Pew Hispanic Center reports that only about half of Hispanic voters nationally are likely to cast ballots. By contrast, 70 percent of all registered voters say they will vote.
A survey by this newspaper and several others found similar numbers across Texas. Only 44 percent of registered Texas Hispanic voters said they were “absolutely certain” to vote, compared to 58.2 percent of all registered Texas voters with no doubt they would hit the polls.
The polling firm Latino Decisions found some marginally better numbers nationally. Its recent report shows 73 percent of registered Hispanic voters are “almost certain” to vote. “Almost certain” is nowhere as good as “absolutely certain,” but the Latino numbers perhaps could end up higher than 45 percent to 50 percent of those registered.
Let’s hope so. Sitting this election out will do Hispanics no good, no matter how despondent they may be over the immigration debate. Experts examining these recent polls believe the anger surrounding this issue is largely responsible for the low projections.
But there is much more at stake, which the Pew Hispanic Center interestingly picked up on. Its survey revealed that Latinos consider education, jobs, health care and budget deficits more important issues than immigration.
So with all that at stake, particularly the economy, Latino voters have every reason to vote early or on Nov. 2. We hope that by the morning of Nov. 3, these dire projections will have been proven wildly inaccurate.