On September 21, PFAW and polling and research firm EquisLabs co-hosted a press call to discuss new numbers on the impact of the Latino vote in the 2020 presidential election. Equis’ research focused specifically on Latino voters’ power to influence the election in Florida and other swing states.
Joining PFAW President Ben Jealous as speakers on the call were Dolores Huerta, civil rights icon and PFAW board member, and Stephanie Valencia and Carlos Odio, co-founders and president and vice president of Equis Labs.
Jealous kicked off the call by underscoring “how important, in this moment, it is that we compete for every Latino vote in this country,” and thanked Huerta and PFAW Political Director Lizet Ocampo for PFAW’s years-long efforts to engage and educate Latino voters.
Huerta noted that Latino voter outreach in every region of the U.S. is equally critical, regardless of the size of a state’s Latino population. “We think of the Southwest… but we often forget that that there are other places like North Carolina, Georgia, New York … and of course Florida, where we have huge numbers of Latinos right now – and enough [of them] there that can make the difference.” She pointed to the 2019 election in Virginia to indicate the power of the Latino vote to swing critical elections.
Valencia said that the electoral simulations made clear that “any way you cut it, the path to 270 runs through the Latino community,” said Stephanie Valencia, Co-Founder of EquisLabs. “Whether it is the Latino bellwethers of Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, or the boosts that Latinos can give in Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, Latinos are a core part of the path to victory this election.”
Odio outlined the nuances in EquisLab’s simulation methodology: “There’s a 50 percent problem … You look at any group in the electorate and you say, ‘Is Biden above 50 percent or is it below 50 percent? … But when you’re looking at an electorate like the Latino electorate, that’s not the right metric. Part of this exercise is contextualizing that … We took different variables and created a wide range of scenarios,” he continued, to identify specific vote levels in various states that could yield a win or a loss for Biden.
To learn more about EquisLabs’ findings, watch the press call recording.