Tags: Trump Administration | Hispanic | Vote | 2016 | election

Winning the Hispanic Vote — A Work in Progress

Winning the Hispanic Vote — A Work in Progress
(Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 23 July 2015 10:25 AM

The Hispanic vote will be a key factor in deciding who wins the 2016 election. Swing states like Nevada, Florida and Colorado — all won by President Obama in 2012 — can go Republican if the party's nominee does better than Mitt Romney's dismal 27% national showing among Hispanics.

These are early days, but there have been some distractions lately on the path to accomplishing this goal.

Donald Trump's comments on illegal immigration have led the media to focus on that issue as the sole determinant of how Hispanics vote. But not all Hispanics think alike. Polls show that Hispanics are upset by Trump's smearing of Mexicans but they also show that many of the 85% of U.S. Hispanics who are citizens or legal residents are also upset about undocumented immigrants jumping in line ahead of others.

Having immigrated from unstable countries, law and order is not a trivial issue to the Hispanic community. They, too, are appalled by drug gangs and the murder of a young woman in San Francisco by an illegal-alien felon who had been deported five times.

But their real concerns, and the ones they are likely to vote on, don't center around immigration. A 2014 Pew Research Center poll found that the three top issues that were rated "extremely important" for registered Hispanic voters are education (55%), jobs and the economy (54%) and health care (50%). Lagging far behind was immigration at 32%.

Those numbers should show Republican candidates that the best way to increase their share of the Hispanic vote is to present practical solutions to their concerns.

On education, promote a clear pathway to school choice. Why?

It appears that growing numbers of Hispanic parents are applying for charter school vouchers and scholarships. This good judgment should be championed. Latino children lag in educational achievement, however, their families are reaching out for School Choice Vouchers and private school Scholarships (mainly through lower cost Catholic School options).

Hispanic parents are increasingly aiming to improve their children's future welfare through better education and remain dissatisfied with their traditional public schools but don't all have the money or knowledge to explore alternatives.

On jobs, that means illustrating ways to accelerate the formation of small businesses that create 70% of all new jobs; removing regulatory barriers that stand in their way and encouraging Hispanics to seek out opportunity in wealth-creating sectors such as the finance and technology industries.

On healthcare, it means encouraging consumer powered choices such as Medical Savings Account and protecting Medicare Advantage, a privately managed option that is popular with Hispanic retirees.

Some additional facts to consider: Hispanics by their actions are pro market.

Data from the Department of Labor shows that Hispanics are more likely than either Whites or African Americans to be employed in the private sector.

More than 8 in 10 employed Hispanics are working in the private sector, not including the unincorporated self-employed.

In addition, Hispanics are less likely to work for the government than either whites or blacks.

Nevertheless, they are poorly represented in many of the most lucrative, highest paying industries.

For instance, According to a 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics Report, Hispanics represent only a tiny 5.9% of financial industry Employment — including securities, fund, trust, financial investment companies.

Political leaders who prioritize the importance of free markets should be better at educating and illuminating key concepts like improved financial literacy among Hispanics.
Savings and Market Investment rates are shockingly low in this community.

Additionally it is critical to emphasize the need to build a network to enhance career employment prospects and better support their climb up the opportunity ladder.

Sharing our policies positively through Storytelling remains vital. That is how we move from preaching to our conservative faithful to changing minds.

In spite of all the somber economic, political issues, it pays to keep in mind maintaining a positive vision for Latinos is always a crowd pleasure for any culture!

In addition to acknowledging all their contributions large and small made to our country and economy.

Much is written about disruptive technologies - from smart phones to Uber — that are changing our lives. Republicans should break up the stale, consultant-driven approaches now being used to appeal for Hispanic votes with "disruptive campaign techniques." Create events that demonstrate Republicans know that Hispanics are able to help themselves.

Examples could be financial literacy clinics to help with everything from tax returns to balancing checkbooks. Latino Coalition is non partisan but pro market holding conferences for small businesses sharing valuable information and resources.

Libre Initiative and Libre Institute are developing such programs but more needs to be done. This would emphasize long-term engagement with the Hispanic community.

Luckily, Republicans have several candidates who can make powerful pitches to attract Hispanics. They include:

Jeb Bush. A very popular former governor of Florida, his family's long record of government service is impressive to Hispanics, who revere family ties.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio can point to his foreign policy expertise and how he would increase ties with long ignored Latin America. His ecumenical approach in trying to broaden the concept of the American Dream to all voters, helped him to win not only the Cuban vote in Florida but the vote of Hispanics who come from other countries.

Ted Cruz, who has become a conservative icon, won nearly 40% of the HIspanic vote in Texas in 2014. His story of how his father emigrated to the U.S. with nothing and became a successful engineer resonates with audiences.

RIck Perry's strong record of creating jobs in Texas and improving the test scores of Hispanic students gives him a powerful message that he has delivered on the concerns of aspirational Hispanic voters.

The immigration debate has been sitting out on the country's policy counter for too long, growing stale and now attracting unpleasant, buzzing flies. All of the Republican candidates want to secure the border and improve our antiquated immigration system.

It's also clear that immigration policy won't find resolution before President Obama leaves office. Both parties have been unable to come to agreement, even though their job is to surmount disagreement and establish a policy.

The immigration dispute will be a major part of the 2016 presidential debate, but let's not use that debate to bash a cultural/demograhic group because elected officials haven't been able to do their job yet.

Clara Del Villar is the CEO and founder of the Hispanic Post.

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The Hispanic vote will be a key factor in deciding who wins the 2016 election.Swing states like Nevada, Florida and Colorado - all won by President Obama in 2012 - can go Republican if the party's nominee does better than Mitt Romney's dismal 27% national showing among...
Hispanic, Vote, 2016, election
Thursday, 23 July 2015 10:25 AM
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