In a midterm election that some had projected would result in sweeping GOP victories, Republicans had pinned their hopes on a slate of Latino voters across the nation.
The result was debatable.
In comparison to 2018, Republican House candidates made a little progress among Latino voters in 2022. But several of its Latina candidates in high-profile races lost.
According to a count by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, there will be a net increase of at least eight Latino members in the House, with seven of them being Democrats.
With the additions, the Republican Party will now have 11 Latino House members, compared to the Democratic Party’s 35, with one Democratic Latino’s election still up in the air, according to NALEO. This will reduce the total percentage of Latinos in Congress to 11%, below the country’s 19% Latino population.
Despite the fact that the result was definitely not what many of us had anticipated, Wadi Gaitan, the head of communications for the conservative Libre Initiative, which mobilises Latino voters to support Republican candidates, said that it was nevertheless encouraging. Latinos and Latinas are motivated to run for office by advancements.
The blows were felt in Texas and Virginia, where Republican Yesli Vega. A daughter of immigrants from El Salvador, lost to Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger in one of the most costly and contested elections in the nation. Vega, a former police officer and supporter of former President Donald Trump, co-chaired the Latino voter coalition for Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin last year.
After first lady Jill Biden said that Latinos were “as unique” as San Antonio morning tacos, Democrats in South Texas managed to hold onto two of three mainly Hispanic seats that Latina Republican candidates vigorously sought to win. Later, she expressed regret for the statement.
Latina businesswoman Monica de la Cruz won a newly reconfigured seat there, giving the GOP a triumph. However, Republican U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores was defeated in a unique contest between two incumbent members of Congress who are both Latino and in a district that leans Democratic.
Flores, the first Mexican-born congresswoman elected in a special election earlier this year, said that the mainly Hispanic area has traditionally been conservative, with a focus on faith and family values, leading to an increasing GOP effect.
“The Republican Party is South Texas’s future. We did not regress, Flores claimed. “We are going to have bigger impacts little by little,”
According to a comprehensive survey of almost 3,400 voters in the state conducted by AP VoteCast, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott received a slightly higher proportion of Latino voters in 2022 than he did four years ago, 42% today vs. 35% then.
Avoid making broad generalisations, advises Dorian Caal, director of civic engagement research at NALEO. The exact breakdown of Latino support needs to be examin down to precincts, which can take time.
The key, according to Caal, is to avoid taking the Latino vote for granted.
According to AP VoteCast, Republicans made significant investments in Florida and saw significant wins. Compared to less than half who supported Trump in 2020, Latino voters supported Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. This year, DeSantis received a slightly higher proportion of Latino voters than he did in 2018. Additionally, he became the first Republican governor to win Miami-Dade. The state’s largest county and home to a powerful immigration, since Jeb Bush did so in 2002.
Many analysts emphasised Florida’s overwhelming victory and urged the GOP to apply the strategy elsewhere. While supporting Trump would have been detrimental to candidates in other states, it was beneficial in Florida.
Republicans gained Anna Paulina Luna, a Mexican-American who won a newly redrew seat, increasing the number of Latinos represented in the House. Earlier this year, Luna supported a film that has since been debunked. Which claimed that people were paid to travel between drop boxes and pack them with phoney ballots during the 2020 presidential election. Luna has stated that she thinks Trump won the election.
When Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer turned a seat red in Oregon, the GOP’s latest victory became a historical moment. She will be the first Latina congresswoman from Oregon, along with Democrat Andrea Salinas, who won in a different district.
With the triumph of incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto. The first and only Latina in the Senate, Democrats maintained their majority in Nevada.
Latinos were important in reelecting Cortez Masto, according to Melissa Morales. The creator of Somos PAC, a nonprofit that mobilises Latino votes for Democrats. According to AP VoteCast, Cortez Masto received 60% of the votes from Latinos.
“We are not a dormant power. ‘We are a strategic giant,’ Morales declared. “At the end of the day, further investment is always possible. That is what we will work to achieve.
Back in South Texas, Democratic U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, who defeated Flores, agrees, saying the party needs to prioritise. The “meat and potatoes” issues that matter to local voters while also increasing its commitment in Latino areas.
The only way to turn more of Texas blue, according to Gonzalez, is to raise a significant quantity of money.