Latino Voter from NV: ‘Everything is expensive and everything is getting worse’
By Megan Barth, The Nevada Globe, June 29, 2023
As President Joe Biden touts that his economic plan “Bidenomics” is “great news for working families”, according to Democratic focus groups and polling, Hispanic voters aren’t throwing a fiesta. In fact, among 60 voters in focus groups conducted by Way to Win, a progressive donor network who helped raised one $110 million for Democrats in 2020, found that Biden would underperform with the Latino vote in Nevada and Arizona.
Roughly one in five voters in Nevada are Hispanic. As Biden narrowly won Nevada by 33,500 votes (2.4%) and Republican Governor Joe Lombardo unseated Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak in 2020, Democrats and their activists are concerned that Biden’s economic policies will negatively affect turn out in the Latino community. When Latinos were asked what Biden has done to help them and their families, the resounding reply from the Hispanic participants was “Nothing.” “Ninguno.”
According to a report in The Messenger:
“The economy is the most important thing. There’s no single, easily repeatable statement that Democrats are driving on what Biden has accomplished the last few years,” said Tory Gavito, the president of Way to Win, calling the research a “warning sign” for the party.
Among 60 voters in focus groups — 30 each in Arizona and Nevada, evenly split among Spanish and English-speakers — 16 said the economy, prices and jobs was the most important issue in Arizona, and 21 said so in Nevada.
“As bills become greater, my minimum wage stays constant and I will have to continue contributing a greater amount of my check to necessities.” said Rodrigo G. from Nevada.
“It affects the cost of living because everything is expensive and things are getting worse,” added Helmut R. from Nevada, in Spanish.“The cost of living rises and rises.”
Leo Murrieta, the Nevada director for Make the Road Action, who has helped turn out Latino voters in Las Vegas for 16 years. From the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and its benefits towards environmental justice, to the Inflation Reduction Act and its benefits to hardworking Hispanic families, Murrieta said Democrats have done a “horrible job” of explaining the good they’ve done for Latino neighborhoods.
Although Latinos tend to favor the Democratic party by a wide margin, an Axios-Ipsos Latino poll found that their support is waning. “A plurality of Latinos now says “neither” when asked which major political party cares more about them,” Axios reports. However, Republicans have an edge with Latinos when it comes to handling the economy and rising crime.
Jesus Marquez, former senior advisor to Republican Adam Laxalt in 2020, told The Messenger, “If Republicans are smart and can link that through messaging to open borders, how Democrats are more soft on crime, and have been against funding police departments, they’ll be able to produce a good message to Latinos to help nail down the vote.”
What is also clear from the report is “The DeSantis effect”, a term used to describe Governor Ron DeSantis’ popularity with the Hispanic community in Florida. Although once a swing state, the report confirms that the Democratic party “will not be saved by Florida” and has shifted their efforts to turn out the Latino vote in Colorado, Arizona and Nevada.
Yet, DeSantis is on the presidential campaign trail, fresh off a visit to the porous southern border. Since “The DeSantis effect” caused the Democratic party to abandon the Sunshine State due to a significant shift in the Latino vote, should he make it past the primary, the Desantis effect could spread to the Silver State and nail down the Latino vote in a state significantly and negatively impacted by Bidenomics and Democratic policies on crime and the border.