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Politics Latino Turnout Could Decide Who Wins Pennsylvania

01:51  27 october  2020
01:51  27 october  2020 Source:   huffingtonpost.com

Florida's Latino voters being bombarded with right-wing misinformation, advocates say

  Florida's Latino voters being bombarded with right-wing misinformation, advocates say Misinformation swirling around the 2020 presidential race is reaching an "alarming" number of Latino voters in Florida through social media sites, advocacy groups said. The experts voiced concern that the barrage of misleading messages about presidential candidate Joe Biden and the coronavirus, often containing right-wing conspiracy theories, could swing the state vote.

While Latino voter turnout was up across the board, black voter turnout could be waning compared to previous years. A lack of enthusiasm among While Latino voting turnout might be up, so is white voter turnout , The Washington Post reported, particularly in Texas, Arizona and North Carolina.

To win Pennsylvania , Trump needs to hold on to the largely white, postindustrial counties and rural The hope for Democrats is that some people who supported Trump have had second thoughts, and “If Democrats can really boost turnout in Philadelphia over 2016 levels, it’s an enormous advantage

BETHLEHEM, Pa. ― When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, John Alvarado tried to tough it out for a few years.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks at a voter activation center in Chester, Pennsylvania, on Monday. Pennsylvania's fast-growing Latino population could be pivotal. © Jim Watson/Getty Images Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks at a voter activation center in Chester, Pennsylvania, on Monday. Pennsylvania's fast-growing Latino population could be pivotal.

But with the island’s economy spiraling, it became increasingly hard for Alvarado and his family to survive. His college costs went up, but neither he nor his mother could find a job to help pay for it. Then, in January, the earthquakes began, disrupting his mother’s sleep.

Running out of options, Alvarado, his mother and his stepfather moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in February. Alvarado, who was politically active on the island, registered to vote shortly after moving to the mainland and is eager to cast his ballot for Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

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Pennsylvania ballots can ’t be tossed out over voters' signatures, court says. A voter drops off her ballot outside the Chester County Government Services NBC News's Swing the Election turnout simulator calculates that Joe Biden would win up 307 electoral votes if he holds on to the senior vote.

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“I don’t agree with anything Donald Trump has done for this country or for Puerto Rico,” said Alvarado, who spoke to HuffPost during a break from his job at a warehouse. “When Hurricane Maria hit us, we needed light, we needed electrical power, we needed housing, we needed food. And he just appeared and threw us paper towels.”

Alvarado’s opinion is consistent with the views of the majority of Puerto Ricans living in Pennsylvania. Sixty-nine percent of Puerto Ricans in Pennsylvania say the federal government has not responded to Hurricane Maria “well,” compared with 31% who think the federal government has performed well, according to a Center for American Progress poll conducted by Latino Decisions in September.

Much has been made of the critical role that Latino voters could play in the battleground states of Florida, Nevada and Arizona. But Latino communities are pivotal in Pennsylvania as well, where their share of the population has more than doubled in the past 20 years.

The demographic that could tip Pennsylvania

  The demographic that could tip Pennsylvania Some Democrats say Biden should be doing more to win over Latinos, a small but influential constituency in the state.“We [didn’t] want to get anybody upset,” said Victor Martinez, owner of the station and host of the morning show El Relajo de la Mañana, or The Morning Commotion.

Northampton county, Pennsylvania voted twice for Barack Obama before flipping for Trump – and could decide That turnout drove huge gains for Democrats in the Pennsylvania state legislature How Trump could win . The key challenge for Trump in Pennsylvania is to create excitement that not

There's a movement growing in the suburbs of Pennsylvania that could hand the battleground state to Joe On a leafy suburban street outside Pennsylvania 's state capital Harrisburg, where election lawn signs Braccio's mother Pauline believes it will energize Trump supporters and fuel greater turnout

a sign on a pole on a city street: A Puerto Rican flag flies in North Philadelphia in 2018. Pennsylvania was a top destination for Puerto Ricans leaving the island after Hurricane Maria in 2017. © Mark Makela/The Washington Post via Getty Images A Puerto Rican flag flies in North Philadelphia in 2018. Pennsylvania was a top destination for Puerto Ricans leaving the island after Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Pennsylvania Latino Communities Step Up Political Engagement

In recent years, the growth in the Keystone State’s Latino population has stemmed largely from an influx of Puerto Ricans fleeing the fallout from Hurricane Maria, and before that, from the island’s decades-long economic morass. These families have settled not only in Philadelphia but also in the Lehigh Valley, Reading, Hazleton and other medium-sized metropolitan areas.

Since Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States from birth, they’re able to vote in U.S. elections. Meanwhile, a number of Pennsylvania-based immigrants ― and descendants of immigrants ― from the Dominican Republic, Mexico and other Latin American nations have come of age or obtained their citizenship in the years since Trump’s election in 2016.

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  Poll: Biden holds small lead over Trump with Latino voters in pivotal Florida; lead grows in other battlegrounds Latinos will be the largest ethnic or racial minority group in the 2020 election, with 32 million eligible to vote. Florida, which has 29 electoral votes, is considered vital to Trump's reelection bid and a loss there would be a huge blow. Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning. But Biden is floundering with Cuban voters, a key Latino voting bloc in the state. According to the poll, Trump holds almost a 50 percentage point lead over Biden, 71% to 23% among Cuban voters.

If Democrats could win Florida, any one of the three in the upper Midwest would give them the White House, unless the US president Election analyst Ruy Teixeira said the three states were so closely decided that even small changes could shift them to the Democrats, from the demographic changes

The formula for a Democrat to win in Pennsylvania has been understood for decades: Come away “The very open nostalgia and nationalist themes in his campaign really appeal to people who live in If the race is tight, it could again decide which candidate carries Pennsylvania . Mr. Biden is not going

Latinos now make up 5% of Pennsylvania’s eligible voters ― putting it just behind Arizona and Florida among battleground states with sizable Latino populations. In a state that Trump won by less than 45,000 votes in 2016, even a modest uptick in Latino turnout could be decisive.

Thanks to new arrivals, new organizing and the galvanizing effect of Trump’s presidency, the importance of the Latino vote in Pennsylvania has never been greater, according to North Philadelphia state Rep. Danilo Burgos, the first Dominican American in Pennsylvania’s state House.

“Across the state, Latino turnout will be higher than any year before,” Burgos predicted.

Nationally, Biden has struggled to consolidate the Latino vote. Polls in September showed that he held a smaller lead over Trump with Latinos than Clinton’s lead four years ago.

In Pennsylvania, where the population of conservative-leaning Cuban Americans is negligible, Democrats are somewhat more confident in Biden’s level of support. Nearly three-quarters of Latino Pennsylvanians who turned out in 2016 voted for Clinton, according to a CNN exit poll.

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Donald Trump won Pennsylvania narrowly in 2016. This year, Joe Biden hopes to take the Keystone State. If Trump expands his support in rural and exurban areas, that could make up for losses elsewhere Pennsylvania holds an irrefutable place in history by being the site of the signing of the

Many of those who said they could go either way selected Mr. Trump against all of his Democratic rivals, or selected all three Democrats against Mr. Trump. They are the sort of voters whom Democrats would ordinarily think of as a turnout target. A disproportionate number of persuadable

As of August, though, there were signs of Latino attrition to Trump in Pennsylvania as well. This cycle, 64% of Pennsylvania’s Latinos plan to vote for Biden, compared with 22% for Trump, according to an August poll conducted by Latino Decisions. The survey also found that 12% of Latino Pennsylvanians remained undecided.

Incidentally, that poll came out just as the Biden campaign began targeting Latino voters on the airwaves in the Keystone State. The campaign made an early investment in Spanish-language TV ads across the state, spending $528,000 on broadcast TV spots beginning on Aug. 11, according to an analysis Kantar Media conducted for HuffPost. The investment represents 1.6% of the Biden campaign’s total TV spending in the state.

The Trump campaign, by contrast, began airing Spanish-language TV ads in the state on Oct. 5, purchasing just $3,000 of broadcast TV time to air the spots. The investment represents 0.02% of the Trump campaign’s total TV spending in the state.

The campaign has also made a point of tailoring its messaging to the Puerto Rican community. One digital video advertisement features the music of Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny and the infamous footage of Trump tossing paper towels to a crowd during a visit to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Another digital spot in English shows Biden lamenting, “Donald Trump doesn’t seem to grasp that the people of Puerto Rico are American citizens already.”

Going deeper on the battle for Hispanic voters

  Going deeper on the battle for Hispanic voters The fight for the roughly 32 million eligible Latino voters is on, despite the relatively meager attention this bloc has received. With Election Day near, Latino voters are expected to be consequential in states including Florida and Arizona. In fact, President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden held dueling events in the Sunshine State on Thursday. And Trump held two rallies in Arizona on Wednesday. But don't mistake Hispanic voters for a monolithic bloc.According to CNN's Poll of Polls, Biden has a slim lead over Trump in both Florida and Arizona.

In order for a Hispanic to get out and vote, the politicians need to come to them.Julio Guridy, Allentown City Council

Biden’s team has even enlisted the help of Puerto Ricans still living on the island to encourage their family members on the mainland to vote for the Democratic ticket.

They are pitching Puerto Ricans on the idea that there are significant policy stakes for Puerto Rico in the election that go beyond Trump’s politicization of aid to the U.S. commonwealth.

To that end, the campaign has released a plan to address the unique economic challenges facing Puerto Rico. He is proposing expediting aid to the island, increasing investment in the island’s infrastructure, and taking steps to raise the island’s Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates, which are lower than on the mainland.

And perhaps most important, Biden is calling for a different approach to the Puerto Rican debt crisis that preceded the recent natural disasters. Then-President Barack Obama’s PROMESA law in 2016 established a fiscal oversight board with veto power over Puerto Rico’s budget that would theoretically give Puerto Rico a chance to restructure its unsustainably high public debt. Critics have since argued that the board, which islanders simply call “la junta,” has been far more willing to force cuts to Puerto Rico’s public sector than compel the island’s creditors to accept sacrifices.

In his plan, Biden is insisting he will demand a “meaningful shift” in the fiscal oversight board’s conduct and an audit of the country’s debt, which reformers believe will reveal that much of the debt was issued illegally.

Biden Aides See Warning Signs in Black, Latino Turnout So Far

  Biden Aides See Warning Signs in Black, Latino Turnout So Far Senior officials on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign are increasingly worried about insufficient Black and Latino voter turnout in key states like Florida and Pennsylvania with only four days until the election, according to people familiar with the matter. © Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images Joe Biden speaks during a drive-in campaign rally in Tampa on Oct. 29. Despite record early-vote turnout around the country, there are warning signs for Biden. In Arizona, two-thirds of Latino registered voters have not yet cast a ballot.

a woman standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, speaks to reporters before participating in a Latino roundtable event in Philadelphia in September. © Mark Makela/Getty Images Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, speaks to reporters before participating in a Latino roundtable event in Philadelphia in September.

Concern That Outreach Came Too Late

Some Latino elected officials and organizers in Pennsylvania are nonetheless concerned that the campaign’s investment in Latino outreach in the state should have started sooner.

Julio Guridy, a Dominican American who has served on the Allentown City Council for nearly two decades, told HuffPost he has been complaining to the Biden campaign for months that he had no Spanish-language campaign literature to distribute to curious constituents. The campaign’s new office in Allentown did not have Latino staff members, according to Guridy.

“It was in the middle of the Hispanic community, but there were no Hispanics,” Guridy said.

The Biden campaign told HuffPost that its Allentown office had bilingual staff and Spanish-language literature from the get-go. Months before the opening of the Allentown space, the campaign also had an office with Spanish-language literature in the nearby city of Easton.

Guridy has still decided to take matters into his own hands. With some funding from the Biden campaign, he insisted on opening up his own Latino-focused campaign office in Allentown, but he worries it is too late. During the 2016 election cycle, when critics lamented that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s operations in the state were too concentrated in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but Guridy believes the campaign invested resources in Latino outreach in the Lehigh Valley earlier than Biden has.

“I think he was more worried about other areas like Florida, Arizona, Texas and Wisconsin,” Guridy said.

Many Puerto Ricans and Dominicans who arrive in Pennsylvania remain politically active on their home islands, but it takes a “little education” to familiarize themselves with the mainland’s political system and how it affects their lives, according to Guridy.

Black and Latino turnout lags white turnout in some key states. Democrats shouldn’t panic (yet).

  Black and Latino turnout lags white turnout in some key states. Democrats shouldn’t panic (yet). Black and Latino voters are less likely to vote by mail. That doesn’t mean they won’t vote.It then warned that, despite record turnout throughout the country, turnout among certain minority groups lags behind white people in important states. “In Florida, half of Latino and Black registered voters have not yet voted but more than half of White voters have cast ballots,” Bloomberg reporter Tyler Pager wrote. He added that “in Pennsylvania, nearly 75% of registered Black voters have not yet voted.

“They don’t vote because we don’t cater to them,” Guridy said. “In order for a Hispanic to get out and vote, the politicians need to come to them.”

Rigo Peralta, a politically active Dominican American artist in Allentown, had a similarly negative assessment of Biden’s work in the area. “He hasn’t had a lot of presence in the area,” Peralta said. “I think Donald Trump has more presence in the area.”

José Diaz, who owns Panorama Latin Times, a Spanish-language newspaper that serves a readership of 15,000 to 20,000 people in eastern Pennsylvania, has been surprised that the Biden campaign has not advertised in his paper. He tried to reach out to people in the campaign but did not get a response.

“It’s too late now anyway,” Diaz said. “They should be promoting for months ahead of time Joe Biden’s programs.”

Biden’s campaign insists that its advertising investments ― and a massive phone and text message operation ― show a commitment to reach Pennsylvania Latinos early on. To the extent that in-person outreach to Latinos has been lacking, it is because of the same coronavirus concerns that have caused the campaign to abandon door-knocking across the board, according to the campaign. The campaign just resumed canvassing in Pennsylvania two weeks ago.

“We’re running the most robust Latino outreach program any presidential campaign has ever had in Pennsylvania,” Sinceré Harris, the Biden campaign’s senior Pennsylvania adviser, said in a statement. “In addition to our robust organizing and outreach efforts, we’ve made historic investments in paid communications across all platforms that have been running for months, including Spanish-language TV, radio, print and digital content.”

a man holding a sign: Eddie Moran is the first Latino mayor of Reading, Pennsylvania, which is majority Latino. His election in January marks a political milestone for the state's growing Latino population. © Ben Hasty/Getty Images Eddie Moran is the first Latino mayor of Reading, Pennsylvania, which is majority Latino. His election in January marks a political milestone for the state's growing Latino population.

‘It’s Completely Different From 2016’

Since it began reviving its in-person campaign events, Biden’s team insists that it has been making up for lost time. Though Biden himself has not yet visited the Lehigh Valley for more than a perfunctory radio interview, the campaign has made a point of giving Latino Pennsylvanians face time with top campaign officials. Sen. Harris, for example, spent part of her only visit to the state since becoming Biden’s running mate speaking to Latino leaders in North Philadelphia.

And earlier this month, the campaign organized a Latino-focused car parade through Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and Hazleton. The parade ― or “caravan” ― featured Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), who is from the Dominican Republic, and Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), who was born in Puerto Rico.

“It’s completely different from 2016,” said Burgos, who joined the multi-city caravan. “It’s getting to the enthusiasm level where it feels like you’re in the Caribbean.”

Regardless, a number of local party bodies and outside groups have stepped in to supplement Biden’s work in Pennsylvania’s Latino community.

Make the Road Action, the political arm of a progressive immigrant rights group, plans to make 2.5 million phone calls and send 2 million text messages to voters of color in Pennsylvania by Election Day. In Reading, which is two-thirds Latino, the political transformation of one of the organization’s more committed activists, Maria Laviena, exemplifies the group’s organizing success.

Laviena, who arrived on the mainland 17 years ago, was a registered Republican because she associated the party with the cause of Puerto Rican statehood (the GOP’s conservative counterpart on the island backs statehood). And she voted for Trump in 2016 because she thought his business skills would make him a good president.

But shortly after the 2016 election, Make the Road Action helped Laviena realize that the Democratic Party is more in line with her values. More recently, the disproportionate pain experienced by Reading’s Latino community as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic reinforced Laviena’s new conviction that Trump does not value her and her neighbors.

“The president doesn’t care about them,” she said, referring to the Latino workers whose jobs often put them at greater risk of exposure to the coronavirus. “He cares only about the rich.”

In addition to Make the Road Action’s work, the Democratic Party in Berks County, which is home to Reading, has invested its own resources in Latino organizing. The county party has, for the first time, hired two part-time organizers who speak Spanish to register voters and solidify support for Biden.

An increase in Latino representation in Reading politics could become a galvanizing force. In January, the city elected its first Latino mayor, Eddie Moran, who was born in Puerto Rico.

I feel like it doesn’t make a difference. It’s a big charade in a way. They decide what they want to decide in the White House anyways.Ycersa Martinez, Reading pizza shop worker who says she doesn't vote

“For him to get into office was a big, big achievement,” said Kevin Boughter, a factory worker who chairs the Berks County Democratic Committee.

Manny Guzman, a Reading school board member advising the Biden campaign, is also running for state representative in a race that local Democrats hope can juice Latino turnout.

Some 35 miles northeast of Reading in the Lehigh Valley, Biden’s Latino outreach stands to benefit from a hub of activism that sprung up to support down-ballot Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections. Rep. Susan Wild, a first-term Democrat who is running for reelection in the Lehigh Valley, does not have a Latino-specific outreach operation, but she put HuffPost in touch with a group of volunteers, which included a Spanish-language interpreter, that was campaigning for the Democratic ticket outside a C Town supermarket in Bethlehem.

These efforts appear to be bearing some fruit. Kathy Harrington, volunteer coordinating chair of the new progressive group Lehigh Valley for All, had helped Alvarado register to vote in the spring.

HuffPost spoke with two dozen Latinos in and around Reading, Allentown and Bethlehem. Twelve planned to vote for Biden, six planned to vote for Trump, three were undecided and three did not plan to vote.

Israel Irizarry, a dispatcher for a trucking company, has never voted before and did not plan to cast a ballot this November until he passed by the Democratic volunteers outside of the Bethlehem C Town. Cathy Brienza, an attorney and progressive activist who traveled from Ridgewood, New Jersey, to volunteer for Democratic candidates, told him that Biden had a plan to make college free. (Biden has promised to make public colleges tuition-free for families earning less than $125,000 a year.)

“She told me Biden’s going to push free college,” he said. “I’ve got two daughters in college now and a son going to college.”

Jonathan Esquilin, a hotel housekeeper in Allentown, was out of work for months during the pandemic. He went without income for two months while waiting for the state to process his unemployment claim. Financial troubles forced him to leave his apartment. Now that he has resumed working, much of his paycheck goes toward nightly rent at the hotel where he works.

But Esquilin, who is an evangelical Christian, appreciates Trump’s respect for faith and is nervous about bringing in a new person during such a difficult time. “I’d rather have somebody who’s already been in-house, that has already dealt with the people for a little while,” he said.

Ycersa Martinez, who works at a pizza shop in Reading, does not vote. “I feel like it doesn’t make a difference. It’s a big charade in a way. They decide what they want to decide in the White House anyways.”

Martinez’s skepticism is not uncommon ― even among the family members of politically active Latino Pennsylvanians.

Alvarado, the recent arrival, has not yet prevailed on his mother and stepfather to join him at the ballot box. They told him they don’t like to get involved in politics, but Alvarado is not giving up so easily.

“Every Puerto Rican that comes to this country needs to be aware that, yes, we have a voice,” he said. “We are part of this country, and we need to take action.”

We want to know what you’re hearing on the ground from the candidates. If you get any interesting ― or suspicious! ― campaign mailers, robocalls or hear anything else you think we should know about, email us at scoops@huffpost.com.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Black and Latino turnout lags white turnout in some key states. Democrats shouldn’t panic (yet). .
Black and Latino voters are less likely to vote by mail. That doesn’t mean they won’t vote.It then warned that, despite record turnout throughout the country, turnout among certain minority groups lags behind white people in important states. “In Florida, half of Latino and Black registered voters have not yet voted but more than half of White voters have cast ballots,” Bloomberg reporter Tyler Pager wrote. He added that “in Pennsylvania, nearly 75% of registered Black voters have not yet voted.

usr: 3
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