The Latino vote is key to winning the 2020 presidential election, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez told The Hill.
Perez said the fact that the active Latino electorate nearly doubled to 11.7 million between 2014 and 2018 means that community could be the deciding votes in battleground states, including ones that have not been traditionally associated with Latinos.
"You look at places like Wisconsin, I mean, you don't think of that when you initially think of where's the Latino vote," Perez said. "I look at those key industrial Midwestern states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — three states that we won in 2018 and we lost in 2016."
He added, "If we replicate our success in 2020, then it's game-set-match. Because if Trump loses those three states, he doesn't have a pathway" to a second term.
Perez stressed that this is why investing in Latino voters is "an electoral imperative and frankly, for me as the first Latino DNC chair, it's a moral imperative."
To ensure that Latino participation is as high as possible in next year's election, the Democratic Party has launched a program called Organizing Corps that trains local organizers in battleground states.
The program helps to aid Latinos overcome obstacles to voter participation that the community faces, including substandard public education, language barriers, and voter suppression in some states.
With one year to go until the presidential election, Perez said "Politics became too transactional on the Democratic side. You know, we'd show up, we'd do a three-month sprint before an election. Today's DNC is about building 12-month-a-year relationships."
Perez said there is much room to improve Latino voter registration, particularly in battleground states.
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