LatinaLista — Latino voters have long been characterized as loyal supporters or, in some circles, followers, depending on your view of loyalty and Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is counting on the latter here in Texas in her quest to snatch the Democratic nomination away from rival Sen. Barack Obama next week.
An excerpt from “Not Your Madre’s Texas Primary” written for Spot-on.
Clinton is hoping – more likely praying – that Texas Latinos follow the lead of our California and New York primos (cousins) and hand her a majority win over her rival. But her campaign is learning the hard lesson that a win in Texas depends, not on yesterday’s loyalties, but a new reality — the “M” factor.
Voters born between 1980 and 2000 are known as the Millennial Generation. In Texas, 31 percent of Hispanic eligible voters are between the ages of 18 to 29-years-old and these young Latinos are close to being the majority demographic overall among Texas Latino voters.
Latinos, 30-44-years-of-age, the current largest group within Latino voters, outnumber the millenials, but only by a measly .2 percent. Couple these numbers with the fact that Latino voters comprise almost 40 percent of eligible Texas Democratic voters. It’s an implication that deserves attention.
Because in this Democratic primary most young Latino voters are dismissing the political loyalties of their parents and following a path that is relevant to how they view the world.
Unfortunately, the Clinton campaign has missed this, insisting on focusing the majority of their Latino outreach on ethnicity, not age. By contrast, Obama has focused his campaigning on college campuses and urban settings, home to most youth. Clinton has stuck to the tried-and-true style of political politicking — walking the streets of Latino neighborhoods during the day and visiting local taquerias, not likely places or hours for young people to hang out.
If Clinton’s people had been savvy about this age group, then they would have known that the millenials, a group whose lives are seamlessly integrated with technology, are a demographic bred on instant gratification, constant change, team work, and for whom diversity is a way of life.
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