People For the American Way

Jealous, Huerta in Salon: Latino Voters are Turning Georgia Blue

Op-Ed
Jealous, Huerta in Salon: Latino Voters are Turning Georgia Blue
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In an op-ed published in Salon, People For President Ben Jealous and civil rights icon and People For board member Dolores Huerta emphasize Latino voters’ potential to cement a victory in the Georgia Senate runoff races.

Looking at the 2020 presidential electoral victory in Arizona, Jealous and Huerta point out that that outcome was “the fruit of years of organizing by Latino activists and their allies” against former sheriff Joe Arpaio’s anti-immigrant fervor and incentives that promote equity among Latino communities. Their organizing fueled Latino turnout in 2020:

Latino voters turned out in record numbers and a supermajority of them voted for Joe Biden. In a state where the Democratic ticket’s margin of victory was just over 10,000 votes, exit polls and surveys on the eve of the election suggest that Latinos voted for Biden by a margin of somewhere between 230,000 and 280,000 votes …

Latino voters in Georgia make up a smaller percentage of the electorate — about 7 percent — but exit polls suggest that Georgia Latinos backed the Democratic ticket by a 25-point margin, making them an important part of Democrats’ winning coalition. That’s a key story in American politics today …

National progressive campaigns and funders have too often overlooked the growing importance of the Latino vote. Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party know that the fight is at the margins, and have invested early and often in culturally competent outreach in places like Florida. People for the American Way and its Latinos Vote! project have worked to fill those gaps in recent years by supporting local organizers and investing in Spanish-language media …

As we continue to build the grassroots and political power necessary to defeat right-wing political forces that have been radicalized by Trump, Democrats and their progressive allies must invest early and strategically in voter education and mobilization that addresses Latino community needs and mobilizes civic engagement — for the next six weeks in Georgia, and for the long run nationally.

Read the full op-ed here.

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