Oct 23, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: New Hispanic Super PAC launches to elect Democrats to Congress

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks during a New Mexico Democrats rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo: Adria Malcolm/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Three former members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus — including the current governor of New Mexico — are teaming up to create a new super PAC to get more Hispanic Democrats elected to Congress.

Why it matters: The battle for Congress in 2024 will run, in part, through districts with significant Hispanic populations.

  • The new group, BOLD America, wants to make sure incumbent Hispanics, as well as challengers, have the resources to win in tight races.

Driving the news: New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, as well as former Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) and Filemon Vela (D-Texas) are launching their new PAC today.

  • "Winning the majority for Democrats starts with retaining our current membership," said Vela.
  • "Through BOLD America, we will be empowered to protect and expand Hispanic representation in Congress," said Grisham, who also served in Congress.
  • "By electing Hispanic members, we celebrate diversity and strengthen the foundation of our democracy," said Roybal-Allard.

Zoom out: Democrats still have a clear advantage with Hispanic voters, but party strategists are worried the trend is moving towards Republicans.

  • Those concerns are tempered by the reality that the share of the Hispanic vote is increasing, with the number of eligible Hispanic voters increasing by 4.7 million from 2018 to 2022, according to Pew Research Center data.
  • Those demographic realities ensure that the battle for Hispanic voters, a group that is by no means monolithic and has substantial differences depending on their country of origin, will be a defining feature for American politics in 2024 and elections to come.

Zoom in: Former President Trump made inroads with Hispanic voters in 2020, increasing his share of the Hispanic vote from 28% in 2016 to 38% in 2020. The shift was most pronounced in Florida.

  • In the 2022 midterm elections, 39% of Hispanic voters supported Republicans, up from 25% in the 2018 midterms, according to Pew Research Center data.
  • Still, enough Hispanic voters stayed with the Democratic party to propel Democrats to victory in key statewide races in Arizona and Nevada, serving as a bulwark against the anticipated "red wave," according to the by the research firm Equis.

By the numbers: There are 53 Hispanic or Latino lawmakers in the House of Representatives, according to the Congressional Research Service.

  • Thirty-seven are Democrats and sixteen are Republicans.
  • In the Senate there are six Hispanics: four Democrats and two Republicans.

The intrigue: The main Democratic super PAC responsible for electing Democrats is the House Majority PAC.

  • It was closely affiliated with former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and spent $181 million in the midterms, mostly in advertising.
  • Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) has given the PAC's new president his blessing and while he won't directly control the PAC, he will work closely with it.

Between the lines: The new Hispanic super PAC is laying down its marker that it has the ambition, vision and know-how to turn unlimited contributions from anonymous donors into political wins.

  • They won't directly compete with BOLD PAC, which is affiliated with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus because that group is subject to $5,000 contribution limits. It spent close to $15 million last cycle.

What we're watching: BOLD America has signed up some veteran strategists to execute its plan.

  • Lucinda Guinn and Dan Sena, both former executive directors of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as well as Adrian Saenz -- who served as the deputy director for the Office of Public Engagement for President Biden and was the first Latino vote director at the DCCC -- will provide strategic advice.
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