Democratic efforts to win control of Congress are endangered by lackluster Hispanic support, party strategists told The Washington Post.
Democrats have hoped that Latino voters would form the base of electoral success, especially as President Donald Trump has pushed policies hostile toward Hispanic immigrants. But worried party activists say enthusiasm from this sector has not been as expected.
This appears so despite a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that shows 64 percent of registered Latino voters prefer a Democratic majority in Congress and just 21 percent want a Republican one.
However, the same survey shows that Hispanics are less interested in the midterms than the electorate as a whole, with 49 percent reporting the highest level of interest, compared with 58 percent of voters overall.
Some Democratic have blamed their party’s congressional campaigns for placing too much emphasis on winning white, middle-class voters in suburban swing districts at the expense of engaging Latino voters.
Democrats are optimistic about holding Florida, where Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is trying to beat back a challenge from GOP Gov. Rick Scott.
But Scott has invested more in Latino support than most in his party have and some Democrats are upset that Nelson did not give enough energy to his campaigning sooner.
In Texas, which has long been a very conservative state,Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke has made the race against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz much closer than would have been normally expected.
But Cruz plays up the fact that his father fled Cuba and the state’s Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, whose wife is Hispanic, has a good standing with Latino voters, helping to offset O’Rourke’s appeal.
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