One more day to the first nationally televised debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Democrats are now facing a credibility gap with Hispanic voters as Trump’s numbers continue to rise in the usual big base support in the Latin community.
Congressional Hispanic Democrats are alarmed at the approach Hillary is using while campaigning in Latino communities. The rift is between the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and Democratic Party leadership over how to approach Latino voters.
There is little doubt Trump, from the outset of his presidential quest in June, 2015, has alienated many Latino voters with his public statements about immigration and Hispanics; yet Trump continues to rise in popularity among the traditional part of the Democrat base. Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) chairman of the CHC’s fundraising arm, Bold PAC, said many of the consultants hired by party leadership fail to fully understand the cultural nuances of the communities they’re trying to approach.
Cardenas told The Hill on Thursday, “I am disappointed to this day with the Democratic Party, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and I would like to see Hillary Clinton’s campaign hire more consultants who are of the communities.”
Many Hispanic lawmakers are frustrated with the Clinton campaign which has enormous cash reserves, yet doesn’t do anything to help promote the vote. For instance, Texas has 10.4 million Hispanics, the second largest Latino population in the country after California, but only 46 percent of them are currently eligible to vote, according to the Pew Research Center.
The discrepancy could make the difference in close states like Iowa and Arizona. Rep. Reuben Gallego (D-AZ) said, “Culturally relevant and sensitive outreach towards the Latino community has been largely on the congressional side, where I’ve seen some amazing radio advertising, amazing digital advertising, both English and Spanish language that’s aimed at the Latino community.”
Gallego continued, “I still think that we are woefully shy of allowing and giving opportunities to minority consultants, especially Hispanics. You have billions of dollars being handed over to businesses that are doing really good important work to get those messages out, and yet Hispanics are participating at less than one percent of that activity, yet we make up 53 million people in this country.”
When the Democratic Party begins to slip among this loyal base of voters, it can only mean two things. The Latino community are listening far deeper to what Trump is saying now and it is resonating among second and third generation Hispanic-Americans. Latino men, notorious for their machoism, may find a woman in the White House against their traditional view of husband and wife authority.
It could also mean that Hillary is not bringing a strong message to Latinos. They want more power, many want illegal immigration stopped due to new arrivals taking their jobs and the fact that much of America wants real change and Hillary is part of the old crowd of the elite Washington bureaucracy.