Latinos make up about 20 percent of the voting electorate in Nevada and is a key voting bloc needed to win the state.
But Leo Murrieta, the Nevada director for the immigrant and workers’ rights organization Make the Road Action, was quoted Monday saying presidential candidates who visit Nevada aren’t spending enough time in the Latino community nor are they listening to their specific issues.
“We’ve seen the typical fly-ins to come and take pictures with popular Dreamers and go to eat tacos or whatever,” Murrieta told Politico in a report published Monday. “But the reality is that very few of the campaigns have had substantive conversations with any Latinx communities around issues like health care, education, criminal justice reform, and worker justice.”
Nevada is the third state in line for voting on the Democratic nominee — the first in the West — making it an important grab for candidates.
Nearly all 24 candidates have visited the state since the beginning of the year. However, The Hill reported only seven of the candidates have hired paid staff in Nevada. Not all of them have hired Latino outreach coordinators. “This all feels last minute to me,” Murrieta told Nevada Current Monday.
Some campaigns, he added, are making the decision to put first or second campaign offices in East Las Vegas, which has a large Hispanic population. “It’s a good trajectory and shows campaigns might be taking Latinx communities seriously.”
However, that’s not the only element needed to earn the vote of the Latino community. Murrieta said it’s also about making a case for how their policy proposals will improve the lives of Latino voters.
“Saying basic things about immigration isn’t going to gain you the Latino vote,” he added. “Saying ‘I don’t support separating families at the border’ is a litmus test for humanity. It shouldn’t be a litmus test for a candidate running for office.”