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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Climate Change is Key Issue for Latinos

From Samantha Page’s “Why Republicans Could Have Trouble Winning The Latino Vote, In One Poll”:

A new poll released Tuesday suggests Republicans could have a tough time winning over a key voting bloc next year if they don’t start taking environmental issues seriously….Nearly three-quarters of voting Latinos — one of the fastest-growing demographics in America — think it is “important” that the United States acts on climate change, according to the poll, released by Earthjustice and GreenLatinos.
More Latinos think it is important to reduce smog and to increase water conservation than to fix immigration policies, the poll of registered Latino voters found. The poll also found that 90 percent of Latinos want to strengthen the Clean Water Act, and 85 percent want to reduce smog and air pollution.

Latino concern about climate change is about being good, concerned citizens. But it’s also personal because “American Latinos are three times more likely to die from asthma than other racial or ethnic groups, and about half the country’s Latino population lives in regions that frequently violate clean air rules, according to the National Hispanic Medical Association…Almost a quarter of low-income Hispanic and Puerto Rican children in the United States have been diagnosed with asthma, in comparison to one in 13 middle-class or wealthy white children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Most of the 16 declared GOP presidential candidates are still in denial about human-caused climate change and are clearly in poor position to offer remedies. Page adds: “A 2014 poll by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that nine out of 10 Latinos in the United States — including 68 percent of Republican Latinos — want the country to take action against climate change…This is bad news for prospective Republican candidates.”
Democratic candidates and their campaign staffers at the federal, state and local level, take note. Concern for the disparate impact of pollution on the health and well being of Latinos and indeed, all people of color and low-income whites, is a particularly good issue for your candidates — and a disaster for Republicans.

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