Dec 6, 2023 - News

What Texas' Latino voters want in 2024

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

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Latino civil rights organizations are urging political parties, politicians and media outlets to pay closer attention to the power of Latino voters in next year's elections.

Why it matters: The composition of the Texas Latino electorate will look different this election cycle, per data from nonprofits UnidosUS and Mi Familia Vota.

  • 25% of Latinos in Texas will be voting in their first presidential election next year.
  • 38% of the Texas Latino electorate is new, either due to naturalization or aging, since the 2016 presidential election.

Driving the news: The organizations, both of which are nonpartisan but left-leaning, released Tuesday the findings of a survey of 400 Latino voters in Texas that was conducted by BSP Research in November.

  • Like others before it, the survey shows that Latinos are most concerned about inflation and the rising cost of living, jobs, the economy, health care, and crime and guns. It has a margin of error rate of +/- 4.9%.

Zoom out: Latinos are the fastest-growing racial and ethnic voting-age demographic in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center. And they are again expected to play a critical role in swing states and congressional districts.

  • An estimated 34.5 million Latinos were eligible to vote last year, according to Pew.
  • The national survey conducted by the groups involved over 2,700 voters and has a margin of error rate of +/- 1.8%. The findings reveal that the national concerns closely echoed those of Texas voters.

Of note: UnidosUS Texas state director Eric Holguin pointed out during a webinar on Tuesday that Texas is one of 10 states that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

  • Texas and other states began re-checking Medicaid eligibility after pandemic-era continuous Medicaid coverage ended in March. About 65% of Texans have been removed from Medicaid since the process commenced in April.
  • It's the highest disenrollment rate in the nation, per KFF.

What they're saying: "For those living in Texas, the poll accurately reflects the views on the ground. Our community is ignored when it comes to addressing the national and state economies. The poll should serve as a wake-up call for both political parties that Hispanic voters are shopping around for candidates who have real policy solutions to their issues," Holguin said.

Between the lines: Advocates have long said that political parties don't do meaningful outreach to Latino voters until it's close to election time.

  • "When we do the work, Latinos turn out in record numbers," said Mi Familia Vota president Héctor Sánchez Barba.

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