The numbers are in: Latinos are going to decide this election. According to the US Census, there are an estimated 518,517 Hispanic or Latino individuals that are eligible to vote in Colorado [i]. 41 percent of those voters are millennials. Nationally, Latino millennials are the fastest growing voter group in the U.S. with a Latino millennial becoming eligible to vote every 30 seconds.
They cannot win elections without first winning the Latino millennial vote.
With candidates staking out increasingly polarized positions on the issue of universal health care, this may very well be the crucial factor for a Latino millennial voter deciding who to cast their ballot for. Like the rest of their peers, Latino millennials ranked accessibility to medical care as a top concern, at 65 percent [ii].
The economy is tied to many issues in Latino families. For Latino millennials specifically key economic issues range from education to wages. In this poll, 65 percent of respondents said that lowering the cost of college tuition is a highly important issue affecting their generation. Along with affording higher education, earning a good wage and being able to provide for their family ranked high.
When asked about the environment, Latinos ranked clean water as the number one issue out of five environmental concerns at 37 percent [ii]. The lack of access to clean water is an issue that affects Latino communities disproportionately. Candidates who support loose environmental regulations will likely struggle to gain the Latino millennial vote.
Because Latino millennials are such a growing voter base, they can have an immense amount of influence this election. Policy makers on both sides of the aisle must continue to support Latino values: increasing the minimum wage, supporting college affordability efforts, and properly funding social welfare programs.
This November Latinos will have a huge impact on who sits in the Oval office or state and local legislatures. Colorado Latino millennials must choose to speak with their vote, they have the power to not only change the direction of our country, but send a message to politicians about what the new face of America looks like.
[i] US Census 2014 American Community Survey 5-year Estimate’s Sex By Age By Nativity and Citizenship Status (Hispanic or Latino)
[ii] Colorado Latinos Millennials Summary of Key Findings. FM3 Public Opinion Research and Strategy. February 2016.