publicidad
A voting precinct in a Chicago laundromat during the November 2016 election.

Why did the number of Hispanic voters spike in Illinois?

Why did the number of Hispanic voters spike in Illinois?

While other states fell short, the so-called Land of Lincoln saw strong growth among Hispanic voters that could provide a lesson for other U.S. politicians.

A voting precinct in a Chicago laundromat during the November 2016 elect...
A voting precinct in a Chicago laundromat during the November 2016 election.

Illinois Comptroller General Susana Mendoza recalled that during her 2016 election campaign she visited some areas so often that an elderly woman complained. “I already told you I'm going to vote for you. I am 80 years old. It's not easy for me to get up to open the door,” the woman said, Mendoza told City Lab.

Mendoza's intense campaigning has been credited by many – from the co-president of Hillary Clinton's Illinois campaign to Hispanic vote researchers in Chicago – as part of the reason for a significant increase in Latino voters in the state.

About 295,000 Hispanics voted in Illinois in 2012, when President Barack Obama was seeking reelection. Four years later the number spiked to 527,000 – an increase of 232,000 in just four years and one of the most dramatic spikes in Latino voting in presidential elections.

Lea este articulo en españo l

Other states reporting significant increases included California and Florida, with 188,000 and 153,000 additional Latino voters respectively. But Illinois, with only the fifth highest number of Hispanics, has just 1.49 million Hispanics over the age of 18, compared to 10.2 million in California and 4 million in Florida.

Florida and California also saw their number of Hispanics becoming U.S. citizens – and able to vote – outstrip their number of new Latino voters. In Illinois, however, the number of new citizens increased by 39.35 percent from 2012 to 2016, while the number of voters rose by 78.64 percent.

The states with greatest increase in Latino voting
Difference in votes cast by Latinos between 2012 and 2016, according to Census Bureau estimates.
FUENTE: Univision/US Census Bureau | UNIVISION

Illinois is a decidedly Democratic state and not the kind of swing state that attracts a lot of national attention. Clinton's campaign, for example, put a lot of effort into Florida, spending more than $18.8 million there only to see President Donald Trump win. Voto Latino estimated that while $12 to $18 per voter was spent in swing states like Florida, only $6 per voter was spent in Illinois.

The lessons of Illinois may well be valuable for election strategies in other states, especially given the relatively small amounts of money spent on it.

Relacionado
Jerry and Mary Ann Williams fill out exit polls conducted by Edison Rese...
So, how did Latinos actually vote? ¿Quién sabe?
Why did pollsters end up with such different exit poll results? Turns out they don't even agree on how to define a Latino voter.

Illinois organizations used specific strategies to add Latinos to the voter rolls. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) , for example, runs a program that encourages civic participation as it helps people obtain U.S. citizenship.

“These conversations are very important to promoting engagement after they become citizens,” said Celina Villanueva, ICIRR's director of civic participation.

But Hispanics who could not vote also can play important roles. “What was impressive for me, and what became part of our strategy, was the participation of people who could not vote, undocumented migrants. After we spoke with them, they spoke with their families, their children, and persuaded them to vote,” said Greg Aguilar, who worked for Vota Quad Cities, a bilingual voter registration group.

publicidad

During Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 Vota Quad Cities, LULAC and other bilingual organizations went to Latino cultural events and other places frequented by Hispanics. “We went to Latino barbers or supermarkets to talk to people and register them to vote,” Aguilar said.

But the biggest factor for the dramatic increase in Hispanic voters from 2012 to 2016 was the handful of top Latino politicians who pushed Latino voters to get involved in the election, said Jaime Dominguez, a political scientist at Northwestern University and member of the Chicago Democracy Project.

Winning trust among Latinos

The seeds of the expanded Hispanic interest in the 2016 elections were planted during the municipal elections of 2015, when Jesús ‘Chuy’ García was a candidate for the Chicago mayor's seat. García, a Cook County commissioner since 2010 and the first Mexican American elected to the state senate, lost but his candidacy encouraged Latinos.

Dos de los políticos latinos clave en Illinois, Luis Gutiérrez y Susana...
Two of the Latino politicians were key in Illinois, Luis Gutiérrez and Susana Mendoza, sittign here with the Illinois Secretary of State,, Jesse White, and Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

“The Latino vote is not monolithic, but his candidacy inspired sectors that had been inactive or did not see any reason for civic participation,” said Domínguez.

Had Garcia won, he would have become only the second Mexican American mayor of a big U.S. city, after Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles. “That possibility changed the importance of the election for Latinos,” said Doug House, president of the Illinois Democratic Commission.

Another important Hispanic figure was Mendoza, according to Kevin Conlon, co-director of the 2016 Clinton campaign in Illinois. Mendoza defeated Republican Leslie Munger by 4 percentage point and became the first Latina elected to statewide office in Illinois.

“Having Mendoza on the ticket helped our campaign a lot,” said Conlon.

Relacionado
Did Hillary Clinton's Spanish-langauge campaign ads help Donald Trump?
More Fourth of July, less Cinco de Mayo. Is that the prescription for the Democratic Party?
Hillary Clinton and other Democrats believed they could win the election by following the California model of celebrating diversity and embracing pro-immigration policies. But some liberals now believe the party is scaring away white voters resentful of immigration.

Mendoza and Munger spent a total of $11 million in the campaign, far more than the $1 million spent in the previous state comptroller's race.

Mendoza's campaign also focused on areas where Clinton was favored and did not require a lot of Clinton attention, Conlon said. While Clinton volunteers left to campaign in Idaho or Indiana, Mendoza focused on remote parts of Illinois.

“We went to places where residents had never seen national or statewide candidates,” said Mendoza.

Her campaign also included areas that were not predominantly Hispanic. Mendoza's political career started in Little Village, a historically Latino neighborhood of Chicago. But Hispanic voters in more remote areas were not accustomed to seeing Latino candidates and “people were surprised when we spoke to them in Spanish,” said Mendoza.

Other Hispanic politicians who have been in the public eye for decades also helped to get Latino voters involved in the electoral process.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez has represented the 4 th District in the U.S. Congress since 1993 and has been a key participant in immigration policy debates. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who held the post from 1989 to 2011, also contributed to the increased Hispanic voter participation.

“Daley pushed for more Latino representation and little by little brought them … into his ruling coalition,” said Dominguez. “For example he was the first to pick a Latino council member, Danny Solis from District 25, as president of the municipal council.”

Solis, who is the brother of Patti Solis Doyle, one of the first directors of Clinton's presidential campaign, has remained a member of the municipal council since 1996.

Mendoza said her election victory was partly the result of all the work of those who preceded her. But it also shows the importance of long-term work by Hispanic politicians to motivate voters. Perhaps political parties in swing states should work hard, to get more elected Hispanic officials to show Latinos that their votes count, for whatever presidential candidates they may favor.

“People want to see politicians who speak their language and identify with them,” said Mendoza. “It's a question of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Did they vote because they saw (Hispanic) representatives, or did their vote elect the representatives?”

These are the most influential Latinos of 2017, according to Time magazine
publicidad
publicidad
We traveled to Ciudad Juárez to see if hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Mexican maquiladora industry would return to the United States if Trump were to modify or abandon the NAFTA free trade agreement, as his government is considering. A border tax would have serious consequences in Mexican cities.
Although the deportation numbers for Donald Trump's administration have kept pace with the Obama administration, images of operatives and arrests, hate attacks on different minorities, and the President's own pronouncements have triggered alarms in the immigrant community ... and fear. One of Trump's most vocal campaign promises has begun to come true. And we are not talking about the physical wall, but a deeper, taller and more effective one: the wall of fear.
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order suspending the US refugee program for 120 days, specifically barring Syrian refugees until further notice. Figures show the US has admitted just over 18,000 Syrian refugees since the war broke out in the Middle East country. It's estimated that 4 million Syrian children have only known war time.
In the dairy industry in Wisconsin, at the heart of the Rust Belt where Donald Trump won by a landslide, more than half of the workers are immigrants and most of them are undocumented. No American citizen wants to do the hard work they do.
The U.S. Senator is in a close race for re-election in Florida. Now comes new revelations about the cocaine smuggling house Rubio briefly shared with his brother-in-law. Prize-winning journalist Tim Elfrink with the Miami New Times explains the significance of the court papers.
Post-debate video captured an awkward greeting between Donald Trump and his daughter Tiffany, who comes from Donald’s relationship to his second wife, Marla Maples. In the video, it appears Tiffany refused to kiss her dad. But that’s not true.
Machado was crowned Miss Universe in 1996. A few months later, she gained weight. As a result, Trump planned a media event for journalists to watch her work out, she told Ramos.
Based on historical trends, current context and campaign strategies, Univision News takes a stab at predicting the results.
It has been a year since the real estate magnate announced his presidential bid. Here is the best (and worst) in a year of Trump.
An evolution of President Obama's reactions to mass shootings during his administration.
Ana Patricia llegó vestida de azul pues tendrá al primer varoncito de la familia Martínez
La presentadora anunció el sexo de su bebé en un video publicado en sus redes sociales y contó en Despierta América lo feliz que está de llevar en su vientre un varoncito, al que su tía Karla Martínez tendrá muy consentido.
La indignante “broma” de un hombre contra su perro: le dio vueltas hasta marearlo
El sujeto grabó este abuso como si fuera algo gracioso y subió el video a las redes sociales.
Inauguran la primera tienda en la que cultivan, procesan, empaquetan y venden marihuana en Los Ángeles
La apertura en Maywood se dio tras un acuerdo entre los dueños del dispensario Cookies y la ciudad, que permite un impuesto directo del 6%. El uso recreativo del producto, que entró en vigencia en California el pasado 1 de enero, es legal para mayores de 21 años.
publicidad
Guerra nuclear o declive económico: los riesgos de este año que preocupan a casi 1,000 expertos de todo el mundo
Un informe del Foro Económico Mundial concluye que ha aumentado el riesgo a un conflicto bélico a escala global, en un contexto de creciente influencia de la "política de líderes carismáticos".
Baja en las temperaturas para este miércoles en Miami
El mercurio marcará como máximas entre 70 y 75 grados Fahrenheit con cielos parcialmente nublados. Habrá vientos desde el norte de unas 9 millas por hora.
Buscan a los asaltantes que hirieron de bala a un policía de Doral
El oficial, que regresaba a su casa luego de hacer unas comprar, está fuera de peligro ya que el disparo que recibió no comprometió ningún órgano vital. Los delincuentes estaban a bordo de un sedán robo y son considerados como peligrosos.
Consulado de Ecuador otorga un galardón a Luis Gómez por su destacado trabajo en el periodismo
Al presentador de Noticias 41 le reconocieron su labor con la comunidad hispana que reside en la ciudad de Nueva York.
Fútbol
Toda la información y noticias sobre lo último del fútbol mundial
Pacquiao dice estar en conversaciones para pelear contra Lomachenko
El filipino señaló que en el mes de abril se podría dar un combate contra el pugilista ucraniano.
Yo anoté en el clásico capitalino: Luis García y su recuerdo de la final de 1991
El 19 de junio de 1991, García le marcó al América en el Azteca. Aunque el global de la serie quedó empatado a tres, Pumas obtuvo su tercer título por conseguir más goles de visitante.
¿Lo compras o no? ‘Bam Bam’ Zamorano cree que ‘Chicharito’ Hernández se debe ir del West Ham
A nuestro experto le ofrecieron también comprar las ideas que Pumas tiene mejor ofensiva que el América, y que Landon Donovan va a marcar por lo menos cinco goles en la temporada con León.