Posted on April 4, 2016

Dolores vs. Rosario And The Fight for Young Latino Votes

Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News, April 1, 2016


Different Times, Different Loyalties

Although Clinton has been winning states with heavy Latino voting populations, Sanders has been making incursions into the solid support of the community that Clinton enjoyed in 2008.

Certainly both campaigns have attracted support from across generations. But in the primaries and caucuses held in 19 states, Latino voters under 30 overwhelmingly supported Sanders, according to an NBC analysis of the vote preference of Latino Democrats based on exit and entrance polls.

The data are from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont. Iowa is not included. In caucus states, the data reflect who voters planned to support before caucusing. They could have changed their minds in the caucus.

A 2008 Pew Research Center analysis of the Latino vote after 16 primaries and caucuses held on Super Tuesday that year found that Latinos ages 17 to 29 were as likely as Latinos overall to vote for Clinton. Then, 62 percent of voters in that age group supported Clinton versus 37 percent for Obama, according to Pew.

The under-30 crowd’s support for Sanders this year is dwarfed by the over 30 share who back Clinton, but [actress and Bernie Sanders supporter Rosario] Dawson suggested at a rally in San Diego for Sanders last week, that the older generations are mistaken in their choice.

“The youth has been on the right side of history on every issue,” Dawson said at the rally.

She cited as examples of hippies who protested the Vietnam War and students who staged sit-ins during the Civil Rights Movement. She didn’t use examples of a young Huerta who organized farm workers.

A Young Electorate

Where younger Latinos stand is important in capturing the Latino vote, because millennials make up about 44 percent of the electorate, a larger share than the youth of any other racial or ethnic group. In addition, growth of the Latino electorate has long been fueled by its youth. Since Clinton last sought the nomination, some 6 million Hispanics were projected by Pew Research Center to have turned 18.