Aug 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Julian Castro warns of "potential slide of Latino support for Democrats"

Former 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro told "Axios on HBO" that Democrats could win the presidency in November but lose support with Latino voters, which could "benefit the Republicans in the years to come."

Driving the news: The Democratic National Convention, happening this week, has been criticized by some for featuring too few Latino speakers. Castro, the only Latino presidential candidate this cycle, was not asked to be one of the featured, solo speakers.

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is only speaking for one minute.
  • A group of 225 DNC delegates petitioned for her to "be given enough time to demonstrate respect for her and the constituencies she represents."

Why it matters: Latinos will be the largest non-white voting bloc in the 2020 election for the first time in history. Now, some — like Castro — are sounding the alarm on how the Democratic Party isn't investing enough in these voters and the Latino community.

What they're saying: "I think that we could win the battle and lose the war," Castro told "Axios on HBO" of Democrats' chances this fall. "We could win in November, but you could see a potential slide of Latino support for Democrats."

  • But it's not just the Democratic Party, he said. The Latino community has "been demonized, especially in the era of Donald Trump, as other, as foreign," Castro said.
  • "I think in every way in American society ... there's this image of the Latino community as though everybody got here five minutes ago," he added.

Castro said he's confident Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will win the election and the Latino vote, but stressed that the Biden campaign has "to make sure that they are doing everything they can to reach out to a community that already has one of the lowest rates of voting, that needs to be brought into the fold."

  • Castro said that could help win states like Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
  • "But maybe more importantly, ensuring that the Latino community is a robust part of this coalition going forward" is the goal, he said. "Or else you're going to see a slide that will benefit the Republicans in the years to come."
  • Reflecting on his time running for president, Castro said: "It's also true, and I saw this very clearly, that the Latino community too oftentimes is invisible. It's an afterthought."
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