Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Could minority women voters, more than Independents, decide this election?

Could minority women voters, more than Independents, decide this election?

LatinaLista — In this final stretch of the presidential campaigns, a lot of focus has been on those voters who have not made up their minds who they want for president.

However, a new documentary released by an exciting new organization called Engage Her, reveals that maybe it’s not those “Independent” voters who haven’t made up their minds that the campaign should be targeting but those registered party voters who fit two criteria: female and minority.
Engage Her, a new online organization focused on educating and empowering minority women to take action through voting and participating in leadership initiatives, reveals in a new documentary that because of social and cultural influences minority women failed to do their part in the 2004 election.
According to the documentary, “Engage Her: Getting minority women to lead and vote,” “70 percent of Asian Americans, 69 percent of Latinas and 40 percent of African American registered women voters FAILED to vote in the 2004 elections.”
The popular sentiment expressed by the women in the film was that the decision had already been made and their votes really didn’t matter.
That was then, this is now.
Or is it?

Given the unprecedented amount of attention and outreach by the Obama campaign to women, people of color and the youth, it’s hard to think that minority women would not go to the polls in this election. Or that they would not primarily vote for Obama.
It really is a different time.
Yet, there does indeed exist a potential for an Obama loss if these same women who felt Bush was going to win no matter what in 2004, feel that Obama will win even without their votes because of all the people who already support him.
If there’s a message that needs to be gotten out to these women, who could possibly swing the vote more than Independents, it’s that every vote does matter and the last thing anyone wants in this election is a close vote.
The goal in this election is not just to win but to win by a wide margin — a landslide if you will. With such a wide margin, it’s a lot harder to question the validity of the votes cast.
Yet, the only way to achieve that is for every registered person to cast their vote in what is inarguably the most historic election in this country this century, and perhaps ever.
It’s been said that this election season is shattering the old model of campaign politicking. Well, one thing learned is that it’s no longer sufficient for a candidate to just campaign but he/she must “engage” their audience.
Engagement fosters action and isn’t that what democracy is all about?

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  • laura
    October 21, 2008 at 9:19 am

    What an important point: that Latinas’ failure to vote might swing the election toward McCain/Palin.
    We should all ask all our friends and relatives to be sure to vote.
    Obama has a good chance, but by no means has he won. I do believe his chance is good – I went canvassing again in a swing state this past Sunday and saw again that he is reaching people who never before voted Democratic. But as you say, Marisa, he needs a landslide because Republicans will do everything they can to block voters during the election, and to cast doubt on it and delegitimize him afterward.
    The aspersions they are casting on him as “palling around with terrorists” make very clear that they will stop at nothing.
    I also think that we should reject as strongly as we can the violent rhetoric and threats against Obama that have been fostered by McCain/Palin. It seems to me that the people who yell “terrorist” and “kill him” at the mention of Obama’s name, are the same people who yell hate and commit violence against Latina/os. They are a demographic filled with anger and hate which is looking for a target. The target of their hate can be anybody who is not white. They are ready for violence.
    Fortunately they are a minority of Americans – but a dangerous one. We need to show with a landslide of a vote how small a minority they actually are.

  • Irma
    October 21, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    I do not know if minority women will make the difference. I have voted since I was 18, (for Jimmy Carter) but I suppose I am rather unusual. I think more African American women will definitely vote. More people under 30 are expected to vote this time.
    Whether they do or not – will determine the
    fate of Barak Obama.

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