How Did Bernie Gain So Much Latinx Support? He Did Sincere Grassroots Outreach

Krystal Ramirez for The Intercept

Duane Townsend

The Intercept - February 20, 2020

"One poll, conducted by the progressive think tank Data for Progress, found that 66 percent of Hispanic voters in Nevada support Sanders. No other candidate made it out of the single digits. And last week, a Morning Consult poll showed the democratic socialist with a staggering lead among Hispanic voters, jumping 10 points with the demographic the day after winning the New Hampshire primary. According to the poll, Sanders had the highest support among the group at 48 percent..."

“... Tío Bernie,” as many of his Latino supporters affectionately call him, owes much of his success to the campaign’s outreach efforts. His policy positions, particularly involving issues like health care and economic justice, contribute to the appeal, argued Deputy Nevada Field Director Michael Ramirez. But the campaign made the decision to prioritize Latino outreach since the beginning, Chuck Rocha, a senior Sanders adviser, said, breaking with the traditional Democratic strategy of focusing on likely voters — which typically means white and older voters — then scrambling for Latino support in the final stretch.

“We started talking to people in Spanish here before we started talking to people in English, so to me that’s very intentional organizing showing the community that we respect them, that we’re going to be here, and that we’re not going to leave,” said Rocha. The Democratic Party’s decadeslong failure to activate Latino voters has created a self-feeding cycle of disengagement: Candidates and campaigns don’t expect them to vote so they don’t bother asking them to, or at least not on the scale necessary for significant mobilization. Latino voters, poised to be the largest nonwhite eligible voting bloc in 2020, are crucial to winning the presidency and have been playing a key role in Sanders’s rise.

“So I think that’s the key to our success, is that we knew that Bernie Sanders was popular with Latinos,” Rocha continued. “But we had never really done the deep-dive organizing within the community, making sure that they knew everything about him so they can go tell their friends and their neighbors. And that’s a big part of what you’re seeing today with this soccer tournament, there’s community-based events, which are key. But community-based events alone will not win you the elections — spending lots of money to talk to lots of Latinos is how you win the elections.” ...
Read full report at The Intercept

Comments

Politics

FEATURED
COMMUNITY