Monday, September 14, 2015

I should support mexicans trumping blacks in the u.s. electorate again because.....?

NYTimes |  I am rooting for Donald Trump.

Not because I want to see him attempt to build an impenetrable wall along the border with Mexico nor because I’ve been following his grotesque campaign with the kind of guilty gusto that got me hooked on the reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”

I’m rooting for Donald Trump because he could unlock the potential of America’s Latino electorate.
Hispanics, among the fastest-growing of all segments of eligible voters, played a crucial role in President Obama’s two elections. Yet, over the past couple of decades, pollsters and political operatives have regarded the Latino vote as a sleeping giant waiting for the right jolt.

Hispanics have understandably responded to the xenophobic Trump campaign — which has hardened the immigration positions of other Republican candidates — with outrage. But many political organizers see him as a godsend.

“Quite frankly, it’s the best thing that can happen to us as community leaders to convince people that not participating in civic life has consequences,” said Ben Monterroso, the executive director of Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, one of several organizations that are mounting an ambitious effort to get Latinos to vote in 2016. “They’re challenging the Latino community to see if we’re going to be able to defend ourselves at the ballot box.”

In 2012, 48 percent of eligible Latino voters cast ballots in the presidential election, lagging behind white and African-American voters, whose turnout rates were 64 percent and 67 percent, respectively. Eligible voters of Mexican origin had an even lower turnout, 42 percent.

An estimated 5.4 million Latinos are eligible to become American citizens but have yet to take that step, making them by far the largest pool of non-naturalized immigrants who could become eligible to vote by 2016. Among them, Mexicans have been the least likely to naturalize. The cost of the process, roughly $680, and anxiety about taking a civics test are among the reasons many Latinos have not become citizens.

In 2016, an estimated 26.7 million Latinos will be eligible to vote, 58 percent more than a decade ago.