tv Inside Story Al Jazeera March 16, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
your mind. >> our experts go inside the innovations, impacting you. >> this is the first time anybody's done this. >> i really feel my life changing. >> techknow, where technology meets humanity. only on al jazeera america. >> florida, texas and illinois have weighed in, new york, colorado and giant california remain. how to register, attract and retain voters has been a buzzel for both parties, a sought after group of voters. their numbers are growing so fast that even when they lowered rates lower than other americans, they loomed larger than other leaks.
latinos in 2016, it's the "inside story". welcome to "inside story," i'm ray suarez. there's a lot more clarity in both major parties today. donald trump is halfway to getting the delegates that he needs to becoming the republican nominee for president. hillary clinton is more like two-thirds of the bay there. as they turn their attention to the general election in november, they will start to do the math. how do you assemble the winning coalition for the fall? both sides will vie for the latino vote, a larger and larger share of the electorate. that's our focus today on the program. and we'll begin with a recap of last night's results with
aljazeera's john henry. >> reporter: in florida, favorite sons go down fast. >> while it's not god's plan that i become president in 2016 or maybe ever, and while today my campaign is suspended, the fact that i have even come this far is evidence of how special america truly is. >> reporter: republican, donald trump, delivered a crushing defeat to florida's own marco rubio. >> it the fact is we have to bring our party together. we have to bring it together. >> then there were three, narrowing the republican race to trump, texas senator, ted cruz and ohio governor, john kasich. new life into the campaign, that trump will not lock up the
nomination in july. >> i have to thank the great people of the state of ohio. i love you. we're going to go all the way to cleveland and secure the republican nomination! >> kasich's victory could lead to a potentially messy party fight, something that hasn't happened in decades. there were no primary elections, and the parties did get together and make the decision on their own as to who the nominee would be. >> reporter: in the democratic race, hillary clinton swept big prizes, ohio, ohio and illinois. bernie sanders, the math got go. it's less likely for him. clinton piv octobered to the general election and her
presumed rival, trump. >> our commander in chief has to be able to defend our country, not embarrass it. engage our allies, not alienate them. defeat our adversaries, not embolden them. >> a preview, perhaps, of the race to come. aljazeera, washington. >> turning targeted appeals into registration, and turning registration into turnout, attracting latino voters in november isn't as easy as just running spanish language ads or attracting policy. the day after the illinois and florida primaries, latinos, 2016, and joining me for that conversation, luis varga, and professor of political science at note dame university. and he's the author of latinos
in the new millennium, behavior and policy preferences." evelyn pettis, author, political staffer, and founder of the website, and brett wilkes, latin american citizens, and revered rights. welcome to you all. and professor, let me start with you. we have a little bit of a database now. how is turn out and how are preferences looking? >> well, for the latino communities, it's a little bit hard to tell at this point. because we only know about their participation in the primaries. we know that their rates of participation are what we would generally expect, not any higher than usual, which would be troubling for the democratic party, because latinos splint xxiv votes, but 2-1, sometimes
4-1 for the democratic candidates. but latinos have taken it very seriously, however. the position of donald trump, taking on immigration, a very important issue to latino communities, something that they take into account a great deal. and on the democratic side, both sanders and clinton have spent consider amounts of time and money trying to cater to latino voters. >> greg wilkes, a member of the hispanic caucus, said that donald trump was going to be a latino rejection machine, and do we know if that's true? >> we have certainly focused our attention on this race perhaps more than ever before. while the latino voters are supporting the democratic canceled date for president, and we did see in iowa, where we got in the caucuses the, a
huge increase, to over 10,000 latino voters participating in the iowa caucuses, so there's a perception that the latino vote will be more than ever before. and they will be part of it. what i worry about, ray, is it enough to make up perhaps for some loss in the white vote, going toward other communities. if that becomes a friend, something that we have to look out for. >> i have been told over the years that it's very expensive to get a latino non-voter engaged, registered and to a polling place in november november. why is it more expensive than anybody else? >> well, i think that the latino community is harder to reach. it's not responsive to even media efforts, and so you have to get out into the communities, and walk
door-to-door, talk to folks, and explain to them why it's so important for them to vote. that it's not just something that they can ignore and so live their lives and get along. it's something that really impacts their lives, and if they want to had live that american dream, and what they came to the united states for, perhaps they have lived here a long time, and they want it for their children, that's what they have to get involved in. and that takes a lot of time and manpower, and it means that it's going to be very expensive to register latino voters. >> as we look at it for republicans and democrats, have they been talking about things that would hook latino viewers, make them say, we really have to get to the polls, both for the primary and the general? >> well, you know, i think that the other candidates, there's a
lot that can be done for both parties. i'll give you a great example. here in florida, we have the two parties, the florida democratic party, and for many years, not have a communications director. and 50 hispanic leaders of both party affiliations wrote letters to them and asked to make the change. this way, the information would go to the media, and the hispanic community would actually receive information about what the party meant. and the republican party, in may last year, hired a bilingual director on the twitter page, and the florida democratic party just had an emt summit in florida, where we spoke to them again, and they have committed to hiring a communications director, which they have not. >> so on the other end of the argument, i'm being told by
some public opinion researchers, and demographers, that bilingual outreach is less and less important with each subsequent campaign. >> i don't think so, especially in florida. if you look at the ratings for the median spark, that we have higher ratings in south florida than the median english. around 70% of hispanics here in florida speak spanish. so i believe that you do hav hae to reach out in both languages, and in their communities, and in their language also. now that marco rubio is out, who is the republican party going to speak in their language? we'll have to see what happens with the republican party and what their agenda is going to be this time. >> latinos in 2016, it's the "inside story".
>> you're watching "inside story," i'm ray suarez. latino voters have historically been concentrated in a handful of states, illinois, texas, and the response is muted because everybody knows that the republicans are going to win in texas and a democrat is going to win in california. but now that there are
55 million latinos in the united states and hundreds of thousands of perspective voters every year, not only in the big states, but in colorado, arizona, north carolina and virginia, might we see the early glimmerings of a new map? an electoral map transformed by new voters? had latinos? 2016 on the program. my guests are with me, and it's not just about california, texas and florida anymore. >> no, and areas that latinos are moving now, in the west and the south and non-traditional parts of the country, and because they're the largest increase of new voters in the state, they're having an impact on what used to be the politics in the state. so that's something to watch very closely. this is not just latino states anymore that are impacted. so that's why we're investing in iowa, and wisconsin and
florida. because we see latino voters coming in and making an impact on the states. >> but are they naturalizing and registering some. >> they are, you see the population go first, and then you see the naturalization following that, and then the voter registration. focusing on part of that. what we found, the number-one reason why, nobody bothered to ask them. so by asking them, getting out there and talking to folks and encouraging them to vote. they are encouraging them, and thankful that someone asked them to vote and to participate, and because of that, i think that you'll see a big change in the states that have the highest rate, as opposed to the numbers that we have seen in the past for the voter registration. >> evelyn, every cycle i'm promised, this year is going to be the year. boy oh, boy, you look out, this is going to be the year, and people talk to me about turning
texas blue and turning arizona blue and turning florida permanently blue, and we're not quite there yet. let's talk more about what lacking time that brent wilkes was talking about. and what makes a person go the rest of the way. >> well, in terms of hispanics, we don't vote for the party, we always vote for the person. do we like the person or not and do we like the candidate? and we are looking at that in florida, and we actually have different -- you can't pinpoint it, as you know. we are very different. especially in florida where you have 23% of the puerto rico vote more focused on the economy, or getting the jobs, or thing to find out what a canceled date thinks about what's going on in puerto rico and the debt crisis. you have the mexican americans, and the central americans and south americans more focused on citizenship and immigration. but one thing i do believe is
that the momentum that we see is that we'll see many more hispanics registering to vote, we'll have more citizens, i think there's a 20% increase in new citizens in the united states. so we're seeing more new citizens registering to vote in twitch. >> luis, what has been the holdup in getting to that place where political pros keep telling me that we're going to hit in 2004 and 2008 and 2012? what are some of the impediments? >> well, some of the impediments, this community depends to have less education and less income, and a deterrent for people knowing where to register and how to register and getting mobilized. but however, the primary reason, they're not contacted by political parties. it has been a long time strategy on both sides of the aisle for both democrats and
republicans to try to mobilize voters who already have a history of voting. in the case of latinos, that's problematic. just to correct one problem, florida is a critical state to both the democrats and republican candidates. there's no strategy that did not require winning florida. the demographic for florida presents florida as an entirely different and new landscape. in fact, it has been the case that there has been a declining number of hispanics in florida registers as republicans. the states that are going to be important in this election, in addition to florida, are colorado, nevada and new mexico. sates with sizeable increases in latino population, and how
it is that they will vote, and guarantee the chance that either a republican or a democrat will win in those very critical states. >> very quickly before we go to another break, evelyn, if i gave you a lot of money, could you raise the hispanic turnout in florida? is it just investment or is it investment plus other things? >> well, i'll give you a perfect example for today. governor rick scott, our florida governor, endorsed donald trump. well, if we look at 2014, it was something that nobody ever thought he would have a chance of winning. but he invested so much in the media, and the media in spanish, and actually, he started early. a lot of the media in spanish in florida are asking why would charlie crist, why he was not investing in the hispanic community? and charlie crist lost by
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>> welcome back to "inside story," i'm ray suarez. latinos in 2016, this time on the program, long before the trump candidacy, and long before the primaries pushed forward two frontrunners, republicans were talking amongst themselves on how to do better in a changing america among minority voters, and you have to know that the democrats were anticipating tough critiques of the obama administering's handling over the last eight years. if latinos are one of the keys to being elected in november, if they choose the next president, what do they get to had ask for? my guests are with me, and brent, i know that -- is
non-partisan, but if your dreams in november, you lay the groundwork and get people to the polls, what happens in january when the transition is over, and the new president takes the oath. and you say, okay, we're here to collect, what? >> i tell you, it's not a single issue, but immigration is top of mind because we have gotten so close in the past. if the latino vote is the vote, it will set the stage to be able to approach a comprehensive election bill and get it passed in the first 100 days of the new president, but there's a chance, if the latino voters are the difference makers, we can come back to that. but there are other issues. leading areas of concern for latinos, and there's still a lot of work to do. especially with the new elementary education bill. in our minds, it took a lot of federal oversight of what the states are doing away.
governor rick scott is fighting the idea of common core standards in florida, and that's problem attic. we want to make sure that the investment is there for our families, and so education is the factor, and employment is a critical issue, while latino unemployment is down. underemployment is an issue. are folks getting the wages they used to have, and are they able to work the hours they want to work? so a big latino turnout is something that can help us coming to the table in these issues. >> evelyn, cubans and puerto ricans, two large groups in florida, is it still a litmus issue? where you with smoke out a candidate and tell what he's all about with the kinds of things that he says about immigrants and immigrant families? >> yes, they're paying close attention to the candidates and seeing what the sentiment is
for hispanics, for we as hispanics, we look for respect in terms of who we are, and they're paying attention. i see many, many hispanics that never said that they wanted to get involved in politics, paying attention. >> and professor, is there likely to be a trump affect, whether or not trump is the nominee? is he galvanizing attention, maybe even unwanted attention for republicans that will have consequences in november, do you think? >> absolutely, yes. i think that the fact that a republican candidates, in addition to trump, took very anti-immigration positions, very clear, a signal that it's going to be very difficult to get a lot of support from this election from hispanic voters. it's important to know that we know how this works. in 1994, governor pete wilson,
a republican and running for re-election ran a very anti-immigration campaign, and it led to mass registration of lat latino voters, and that's why california is such a solidly blue state. we know how it is that latinos react to someone who attacks them as individuals, and from communities that don't belong in the united states. there may be a very counter intuitive consequence of this rhetoric that has become such a significant part of the republican primary campaign. >> brent wilkes, we look at numbers, and we are told about the coming minority/majority america. are we likely to see less strong identification of among my grandchildren? among luis' grandchildren, and evelyn's children? as simulation continues, out
marriage, sub urnization, will it mean less? >> i don't think so. you add to that the fact that latinos have the highest interracial marriage rates of any community in the country, and you start to wonder if that will happen. but latinos are very strongly identified with the culture and heritage, and what we might see, instead of focusing on immigration, education and jobs, you start to see latinos focusing on non-traditional issues, like the environment, for example, and things that don't necessarily just impact the latino community, so that's what you'll see, latinos become more part of the electorate. and say i'm more concerned about these other issues as well. we have a role to play, though
it doesn't specifically impact my community, we're part of this country, and that is what we need to address. we have seen it already and we'll see more, but you won't see latinos losing their heritage. they're very proud of their heritage, and it's not something that anybody in the communities will see happen. >> are you getting signals from either party or both parties that they're going to spend the kind of money that you all three say that is necessary to get the attention of the community? >> yes, you see the republicans and the democrats spending a lot on the community. and behind the scenes, the rnc is doing a lot to reach out to latino voters, spending a lot on that and putting a big campaign in place. but i think if trump is the standard bearer, it's going to be ill-spent money for them. >> i want to thank my guests. that's the "inside story," joining us tomorrow for a closer look at venezuela. the country has been living
through extreme economic and political tumult. is it teetering on the brink? aim ray suarez, good night. >> this is aljazeera america, live from new york city, i'm tony harris, say supreme battle over the president's choice for the supreme court. closer to the finish line, hillary clinton and donald trump gain even more ground against their rivals. from war-torn, and a small town in east porterville is bone dry, despite el nino