Both Democratic and Republican presidential nominee candidates in Nevada are expanding their efforts to reach out to the Latino community, which is considered vital to winning the caucus of the state next February. Hillary Clinton’s campaign was the first and is still the most aggressive when it comes to reaching out to voters in the Latino community, and Donald Trump was smart enough to appoint a Latino UNLV graduate to the position of Nevada campaign director.
Nevada already has a poor voter turnout record and the difficulty is in getting a greater number of Latinos to actually vote in the first place. While immigration reform is often seen as the policy most likely to attract Latino support, the state director for the campaign of Clinton Democrat rival Bernie Sanders, Jim Farrell, says this is no longer enough on its own.
“It may be a stereotypical notion that immigration alone is what drives Latinos,” Farrell notes. “The fact is, Latinos in Nevada want a raise, they want a better job, they want better health care – all of these things are attainable. This is what Bernie Sanders’ message is, this is his agenda.” Vote Latino’s Maria Teresa Kumar says, however, that while immigration may not be the only thing Latinos care about, it nonetheless remains an issue that galvanizes many in the community.
Kumar says the Latino community has become the scapegoat for the rhetoric used by a number of political candidates and that Vote Latino hopes to be able to make use of this to create awareness and political empowerment.