Presidential Race: It’s all About the Latino Ground Game

Victor Landa, NewsTaco

I mentioned in polite company a couple of times that Latinos are a fourth quarter political people. And even in polite company the idea hasn’t been that well received. But I insist, now that we’re in the fourth quarter of this presidential campaign, it’s our, Latino, time.

Think of it this way: the first quarter was the primary season; the second was the convention time; the third was the debate week; and now comes the end game,the fourth quarter voter mobilization time. That’s all that’s left in this presidential game – getting voters to the polls, now that early voting has begun in many states, now that all that needed to be said has been said, now that the race is down to a handful of undecided voters in 7 swing states.

My theory is that now is when the majority of Latinos usually begin to pay attention because they’ve been busy raising kids and going to work, and work, and in many cases work again. The caveat is that Latinos can’t vote if they haven’t registered, but that part of the game was taken care of in the first three quarters – you don’t have to pay attention to the candidates in order to register. And even though this has been a though voter registration season, given the obstacles deliberately placed in the way of the Latino community in the guise of preventing voter fraud, there has been a notable surge in Latino voter registration (not what we’d like to see, but enough to make a difference).

Proof of the fourth quarter theory was provided by our partners at Latino Decisions who tell us that 45% of Latino voters have actively tried to persuade friends or family on their election decision.  It should come as no surprise; even in polite conversation there are some Latinos among us who are bringing up politics and the presidential election.

So all that’s left now is getting Latinos to the polls, especially in states where the experts tell us it matters the most: Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida… It’s all about the ground game, and at this point the game is played beyond the reach of the campaigns. This is the part of the game where any and all of us can take part – convincing Latinos to vote, taking them to the polls, giving people correct information.

It’s less than two weeks and now is the time when it matters the most.

[Photo By nathangibbs]

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