‘Life hasn’t gotten better’: Hispanic GOP candidate says Democrats made things worse for Latino voters

  • Hispanic and Latino voters have always voted for Democratic candidates, but Republican gains in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections reveal a potential realignment ahead of midterm and presidential elections.
  • “Once Donald Trump took office, he was kind of all over the news channels. You couldn’t really get away from him,” Colombian American Carolina Serrano, who is one of 103 Hispanic GOP candidates seeking a congressional seat in November, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • ” [Republicans] started reaching out to Latinos while Democrats, on several occasions, had lackluster outreach, especially at the congressional level,” Democratic political strategist Chuck Rocha told TheDCNF.

Republican congressional candidate Carolina Serrano says life for Hispanics and Latinos has gotten worse after years of voting for Democrats, while Republican gains among the base point to potential realignment ahead of the 2022 election and 2024.

There are a record 103 Hispanic GOP candidates vying for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, including Serrano, a Colombian American who is running as a Republican candidate in Nevada’s 1st congressional district. Serrano said former President Donald Trump’s presidency has contributed to the broader trend of Hispanic and Latino voters leaning towards the Republican Party.

“Once Donald Trump took office, he was kind of all over the news channels. You couldn’t really get away from him,” Serrano told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “For me, I started to pay attention to what he was saying, and to be honest, I had never really seen a politician before standing up for America or American citizens or I really wanted to get citizens across. Americans first, which first caught my attention. »

“Hispanics are no different than White Americans, Asian Americans, Black Americans, we all want safe communities, good schools, good paying jobs and just to live a good life overall,” she said. (RELATED: IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Why Hispanics and Latinos are moving right)

Serrano said Trump’s policies resonate with Hispanics, as many come from countries with violent crime and extreme corruption.

“There is not really a middle class. There’s no real chance of escaping the class you were born into,” she said. “That’s what I think woke up Hispanics is to see that after voting Democrats for so long, life hasn’t gotten better — it’s actually gotten worse. »

“Then Donald Trump came along and put in place policies that worked for all Americans,” Serrano said.

The economy, crime and safety, and education are the top three issues for Hispanic and Latino voters, according to a February FreedomWorks poll. Hispanics saw Republicans as a way to get the country back on track after restrictive COVID-19 measures, according to Peter Vicenzi, director of communications at FreedomWorks.

“A lot of people who are Hispanic work service industry jobs or construction jobs that have been really, really hard hit by the COVID restrictions,” Vicenzi told TheDCNF. “They saw in the Republicans the way, in a way, to get back to work and to move the country forward in the right direction. »

Vicenzi said the GOP needs to remind voters that it supports law enforcement and ” [supports] parents having a choice in the education of their children” in order to continue their momentum and build on their support from the Hispanic and Latino electoral base. Nearly 60% of respondents to the March poll support “parental involvement in education,” according to a press release.

“People come to America because we’re a country with a strong emphasis on the rule of law,” he said. “Republicans actually support school choice. This is a big issue that resonates, we found in our poll, that really resonates with Hispanics.

The 2020 presidential election also revealed a rightward shift among Hispanic and Latino voters, especially in border counties in Florida and Texas. Democratic political strategist Chuck Rocha described the shift as what he called an “erosion” of Latino voters to the right due to a greater effort from the Republican side and a “lackluster” effort from Democrats.

“Well, first of all, I think you have to think about Latino voters more than Latino voting, because it’s just different from state to state and it’s different from election to state. ‘other,” Rocha told TheDCNF. “But one thing is clear, that there has been an erosion, a slight erosion in most states, of the Republican Party as Latinos come of age. »

“Republicans had never spent until about 10 years ago any real resources to communicate with Latinos,” he said. “So they started reaching out to Latinos while the Democrats, repeatedly, had lackluster outreach, especially at the congressional level. »

Democrats should focus on immigration, especially better border security and a pathway to citizenship, and education, like vouchers and charter schools for black and Hispanic communities ahead of the 2022 election. and 2024, according to Doug Schoen, former adviser to former President Bill. Clinton. He also said defunding, not defunding, police is another key issue in Hispanic and Black communities.

“Well, for example, when it comes to Hispanics, I would say that making a big deal on immigration – tighter border security combined with a pathway to citizenship – would be, in my opinion, a really good way to go. ‘address border issues,’ Schoen told TheDCNF. “Something that Democrats have been, I think, largely silent about. »

“The people who depend most on law enforcement on a daily basis are those who live in areas that would arguably have the highest crime rates,” he said. “And, often, not always, but often those areas are black and Hispanic areas. »

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