Voting

A record 27.3 million Latinos are eligible to vote this year, according to the Pew Research Center. And with over half those voters expressing dissatisfaction to pollsters with the nation’s direction, they could have a big impact in November. But experts say a history of low voter turnout and concentrations in non-battleground states haven’t given Latino voters the punch their numbers might suggest. We discuss Hillary Clinton’s 3-to-1 lead over Donald Trump among Latino registered voters, the effect of Trump’s “build a wall” comments and the potential impact of Latino voters in local and congressional races.

How the Latino Vote May Affect this Year’s Election 1 November,2016Michael Krasny

Guests:
Fernand Amandi, principal at Bendixen & Amandi International, a multilingual and multiethnic polling firm
Lisa Garcia Bedolla, chancellor's professor of education and political science, UC Berkeley
Mike Madrid, editor and publisher, California City News
Ben Monterroso, executive director, Mi Familia Vota

  • Skip Conrad

    How do you define the word Latino? Who are these people?

    • De Blo

      Technically, a Latino is someone whose native language is a Latin or Romance language – i.e., speakers of Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, or a Creole language based on those languages. Some use ‘Latino’ interchangeably with ‘Hispanic’ (Hispanics speak Spanish). Hispanics, like Latinos, can be of any race. Among Hispanic groups, Spaniards, Argentines, Costa Ricans, and Uruguayans are overwhelmingly white, Peruvians, Guatemalans, and Bolivians are mostly Indian, Dominicans and Cubans are mostly black, and Mexicans, Nicaraguans, Colombians, and Paraguayans are mostly mestizo (mixed white and Indian).

    • hajaxavier

      I pretend latino doesn’t exist as an English word (there’s a perfectly good English word to describe what I am, latin). The Spanish word latino is an abbreviation for latinoamericano. Uso latino cuando hablo español y latin when I speak English. De Blo covered the rest quite well.

  • Terry

    Are Mexicans real Latinos? They seem more Aztec and Mayan than liked people influenced by the culture of Spain. Methinks they only claim a connection with Spain because that county handed them a huge chunk of land called California, which they lost 30 years later.

    • Kurt thialfad

      Mexico only held California for 25 years.

      • Terry

        That’s not much. It hardly justifies right-wing nationalist Mexicans claiming California should be reconquered for Mexico.

        • MonkInSF

          “Make America Mexico Again!”

  • jakeleone

    One thing that is great about this country is that everyone (seems to anyway) matter. I can’t help but remember hearing the President of Pakistan a few years back saying that the killing (by bombing) of several hundred Christians, was “not a lot of people”.

    This points out how sensitive Democracy can be in a pluralistic society, as opposed countries where there is a large majority group pushing a single agenda, and the big leader only has to pander to that majority.

    We should be happy that we don’t live in such a country, one that is a country only when the big leader (be it President/King/Warlord) comes around.

    • Mark SF

      I do agree with your point. But one of the big battles of this election is whether we vote a strongman into the Presidency and large number of followers and Republicans who would like to reinforce the idea that this is a white christian nation. Just listen to the talk on latinos, Mexicans, Muslims, blacks, and American Native People.

      • jakeleone

        You know it is true that the (fair and equal) rights of people of European decent has been enhanced by the civil rights movement.

        A lot of people (maybe more often of European decent than not) just don’t realize that the 13th amendment, is the amendment that not only ended slavery, it ended indenturement. It gave everyone the right to say “Take this jobs and you know what with it.”

        Before that amendment, if you were serving an indenturement, you could be jailed for not working according to contract.

        Frankly, before the 13th amendment I don’t even think we were a Capitalist country. Since a huge portion of the U.S. population was enslaved, and if you can’t own your time here on Earth you can’t really own anything. Once we got that right, the whole nation went from the last vestiges of Feudalism and entered into Capitalism.

        And I would agree that the nastiness, the bigotry, does emanate more strongly from Trump’s side. The key is for people to speak out against it, many have, many Republicans have as well. That kind of junk-bigoted-thinking needs to be always kept in check and needs to be opposed in favor of more enlightened and realistic views.

        My view on this is that we are nation of laws. And outside of our nation there really is no law. There is no “Globalism” it is a myth. That’s not Xenophobic, it is just fact. On that though, I believe in taking the compassionate road, in all matters. And we must keep a vigilant eye and an open heart.

        Neither Clinton nor Trump for example really understand that the main problem in the middle east is religious intolerance. And that’s just plain 1st amendment information, the U.S. would have crumbled quite quickly without freedom of religion. Well in most countries in the middle east, there is one dominant religion, and hence you see the result.

        • Mark SF

          I agree with you.
          On we are a nation of laws, I agree with you but the laws are not neccesarily applied equally. Examples: sentensing for Cocaine powder and cocaine rocks in the past.
          or

          Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Problem with Money Bail

          https://www.bostonfed.org/publications/communities-and-banking/2015/summer/guilty-until-proven-innocent-the-problem-with-money-bail.aspx

          http://www.pretrial.org/heres-problem-bail/

          We are still Feudalism in suppression of the vote, access to information, money influencing politicians and politcal races and application of laws and sentencing.

          Politic is like a tug a war. Trump wants to take us back to some imaginary good old days and be a strong man. Suddenly some Republicans see this and start pulling the other way. It is not like Clinton is that far left and not a politician influenced by money, she is just is less than Trump. Clinton is just where the Republicans were in the early 90’s.

          • jakeleone

            All, so true. And I forgot about the prison industrial complex in this country (not joking one bit either on this, totally serious). And I agree law is not applied equally or justly. That is one of our real problems in this country. Oscar Grant, bless his heart, that triggy happy police behavior has been around for decades, and is only getting noticed in the age of Cell-phone cameras.

            And for most of us, the law occurs only when a police officer detains us or pulls us over. And you never what you are getting from the police in this country, and I can fully understand the need for serious care and reform of our entire legal system, from the police right on through to the prisons.

            Too many people get a felony conviction because of drug offenses. When it is time for all states to stop that, stop feeding the Prison Industrial complex. And start treating drugs and drug addiction as what it is, a health problem and not a Zombie invasion.

            A Public health problem, a disease. Just like we now treat cigarrette and alcohol addiction.

            There is no more stark example then the fact that for decade Rush Limbaugh was an addict for decades, and made millions. The simple truth is many people could lead near normal lives while working with a Doctor on their addiction. Putting people in jail just creates hardened criminals, of who never had a chance to learn job skills.

            I can’t wait until all cars are automated, such that 90% of the police will have no reason to threaten the public with felony incarceration.

            But I know of at least one death, that wouldn’t have happened if cops would just stop pulling people over (to look for drugs) when they have a busted tail light. We should be doing everything we can to minimize the number of police stops, and starting with tail lights, for which they should just mail a fix-it citation to the owner of the vehicle.

          • Mark SF

            I really like your observation about automated cars will drop many reasons for police stopping cars. That is a new thought for me.
            I agree with all you said.

      • jakeleone

        In a way, it is good to have a falling out from one’s ethnic background, to not be imprisoned by it mentally/spiritually.

        I think (well isn’t it just obvious) that the U.S. goes through storms of this creative disillusionment that helps us attain greater intellectual freedom.

        And I honestly can say “Ain’t that America!” (paraphrasing Mellencamp). (well the U.S. anyway, hehe).

  • Ben Rawner

    I have read that Latino voters tend to vote conservative, is this true?

    • Mark SF

      Hillary Clinton currently has a 66%-24% advantage over Donald Trump
      among Hispanic registered voters. In a three-way test, including
      Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, 58% of Latino voters support
      Clinton, 20% support Trump and 13% back Johnson.

      http://www.people-press.org/2016/07/07/6-hispanic-voters-and-the-2016-election/

    • De Blo

      No, the overwhelming majority of Hispanic voters are liberal Democrats (the exception until recently being Miami Cubanos). About 74% of Hispanics in 2012 voted for President Obama.

  • Mark SF

    They also have to overcome voter suppression tactics.

  • marte48

    The definition of “conservative” is anti-immigrant.

    • Terry

      Most immigrants are themselves socially conservative. Therefore the definition of liberal must be masochist.

  • BDN

    It may sound petty and perhaps it is, but when I hear that inflection “LATTEENO” I bristle.

    • BDN

      and I don’t think Donald Trump insulted the “Mexican Community”, he insulted certain members of that community that even the executive director of Mi Familia Vota would likely not associate with.

      • Terry

        Like the right-wing nationalist Mexica movement.

  • Kurt thialfad

    Why is there such a large latino population in the US?

    • De Blo

      Two reasons: 1. Immigration laws were changed in 1965 to favor Latin American immigrants and to open the floodgate in immigration and 2. Ronald Reagan passed an amnesty in 1986 that allowed illegal aliens to become legal and encouraged excess and unregulated migration from Mexico. Plus, Catholicism meant that Latin America has been overpopulated, impoverished, and corrupt.

    • Terry

      They breed at high rates, because most are Catholics who don’t believe in using condoms.

      • Mark SF

        You may not realize that the word “breed” used with humans is considered racist. Breed is used for animals. You would not say Protestant breed more or white people breed more. Use “Their birth rate is higher”.

        • Terry

          Human beings are animals. Take a biology course sometime.

          • Mark SF

            Yes I know. I personally do not consider myself above animals. I am just point out that people consider breed racist when used with humans.
            I do not have a problem with your point, but it would be stronger and less off putting to more people that you are trying to make your point to if you had used “Their birth rate is higher”.

          • Terry

            Who? I’d like to see a poll. Probably ignorant religious people who think humans are made from Adams rib.

          • Mark SF

            Well we do live in a very religious US where enough people think humans are made from Adams ribs. That is where breed and animals is used for lesser people/less than human.

      • Mark SF

        Well, I guess “breed at a high rates” for humans (Latinos and Hispanics) is OK in the USA. I stand corrected.
        In the past breeding and breed were used by Eugenics and German Facists. Also slaves were called, animals less than human.

        They don’t have polls for usages like that, but Trumps ability to say just about anything and get a high vote maybe President (at this writing it has not been determined) is a good enough poll for me. I am wrong.

  • Terry

    Isn’t the term Latino as simplistic and meaningless and often as racist as the term Anglo?

    • De Blo

      ‘Hispanic’ is more meaningful, but it is important to understand that, just because someone has some ancestors who spoke Spanish, it does not make someone less white or less able to assimilate into American culture.

      • Terry

        Well but Mexicans are more likely to express nationalist fidelity or allegiance with their country than are other Hispanic groups.

        • Mark SF

          Have you met any Cubans or Brazilians?

          • Terry

            Right but Cubans are not threatening to reconquer any US states.

          • Mark SF

            So you are saying Mexico is threatening to reconquer the US. I did not know. Please inform.

          • De Blo

            Brazilians are not Hispanic (Technically, they are Latino but not Hispanic – just like Italians, French, Haitians, and Romanians).

          • Mark SF

            Isn’t the program about Latinos? Isn’t the term Terry asked about Latino?

          • Bill_Woods

            ‘OMB defines “Hispanic or Latino” as a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.’ http://www.census.gov/topics/population/hispanic-origin/about.html

          • Mark SF

            I think the distinction is that Brazilian’s are of Portuguese origin and speak Portuguese.

            As you know, Brazilians, who do not speak Spanish, are Latinos, but Portuguese who share the Iberian Peninsula with Spain may not want to be called “Latino” or “Hispanic.” And the U.S. Department of Labor also allows people to self-designate as a Hispanic, if they are Portuguese, and it cannot be contested.

            http://www.allinportuguese.com/blog/2013/02/25/are-portuguese-and-brazilians-hispanic/

          • De Blo

            ‘or other Spanish culture or origin’ does NOT in any way apply to Brazilians, Guyanese, Surinamese, or other non-Hispanic South Americans.

          • Robert Thomas

            I adopted the phrase “Iberian-influenced cultures and societies”. It doesn’t take into account other important parts of cultural character or the influence of the particular indigenous population – as are common especially in Western South America – but it does also include within its penumbra Filipino people, who can’t be ignored in the Western U.S. More than the Surinamese influence, I expect.

          • jurgispilis

            Think about it, Filipino people are Asian, Pacific Islanders, and Hispanic.

        • De Blo

          Probably just because of the sheer size of the Mexican population in America. If we could stop or at least reduce and control Mexican immigration, then they would likely assimilate like other immigrant groups.

  • Ben Waldo

    One guest pointed out that the “issues matrix” which each of the two major party adopts doesn’t align with many Latino voters, thus discouraging turnout. This ought to be true for every portion of the population, not just Latino’s – how can two party’s possibly represent everyone?
    I can’t possibly vote for Republicans personally, but I certainly don’t agree with everything the Democratic party puts forward. I want Hillary Clinton to be elected so that American Democracy, free speech, and decency can live on, but I hope we can immediately start to deconstruct the two party system post election. Republicans have already done it to themselves but the Democratic Party must fracture too for proper representation.

  • Curious

    Are we talking legal or illegal?

  • Kurt thialfad

    Shouldn’t we get rid of the Cuban Adjustment Act?

Host

Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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