Sep 6, 2022 - News

Latino voters look to shape the 8th District's seat

Illustration of a pattern of “I voted” stickers in Spanish and English.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The chance to win Colorado's newest congressional seat just north of Denver will require candidates to pay close attention to one group: Latino voters.

Why it matters: Latino voters make up 39% of the district, by far the largest percentage for any U.S. House seat in the state.

  • "We all know that Latinos in Colorado will definitely play a decisive role in this year's midterm elections," Salvador Hernandez, Colorado's state director for Mi Familia Vota, a civic engagement organization, said during a recent press briefing.

Details: Polls show Democratic state Rep. Yadira Caraveo of Thornton and Republican state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer of Brighton are basically tied, fueling the parties' belief that the seat is up for grabs.

State of play: Republicans are keen on getting their share of the Latino voting bloc, which historically supports Democrats.

  • In an effort to court more Latino voters, the Republican National Committee opened a Hispanic Community Center in Thornton to serve as a campaign hub inside the new congressional district. It's the first of its kind in Colorado.
  • Colorado GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown said that Hispanic voters "share" the values of her party. And Brown has been knocking on doors in the district to speak directly to Latino voters — an effort she said plans to continue.

Yes, but: Polling data suggests Kirkmeyer and other Republicans face a huge obstacle, since Latino voters in the state support Democrats.

  • Pollster Gary Segura said that a survey released last week showed Latinos favor Democrats by a nearly 3-1 margin.
  • But he noted about 20% said neither party is good at addressing their biggest concerns.
  • Meanwhile, Hernandez said his organization has seen a rise in unaffiliated Latino voters across the state

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