Power Up: Texas and North Carolina 'next in play' for Latino voter outreach groups

Power Up: Texas and North Carolina ‘next in play’ for Latino voter outreach groups

May 25, 2021
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with Tobi Raji Good Tuesday morning. It’s a busy one. Please tune in to Jonathan Capehart’s interview with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) on Washington Post Live today at 9:30am EST. This is the Power Up newsletter – thanks for waking up with us. The people � 2024 BOOKMARK: For […]

Click here to view original web page at

with Tobi Raji

Good Tuesday morning. It's a busy one. Please tune in to Jonathan Capehart's interview with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) on Washington Post Live today at 9:30am EST. This is the Power Up newsletter – thanks for waking up with us.

The people

� 2024 BOOKMARK: For all of the criticism Democrats and the Biden campaign received about their lackluster outreach to Latino voters, there was at least one progressive organization that exceeded their voter registration goals in the 2020 election cycle.

An analysis done by Voto Latino in partnership with Clarity Campaign Labs and Catalist, and provided to the Washington Post, showed that during the 2020 election, the group collected 617,714 complete voter registration applications — a 123% percent increase over their projected goal for the cycle.

78 percent of all applications successfully made it onto the state's voter file in time for the November 2020 general election. And 77 percent of applicants ended up voting in the November general election; 55 percent of which were first time voters.

83 percent of the total voters Voto Latino registered voted early — a promising sign for the group signaling major behavioral changes for a community that “believes in mañana,” María Teresa Kumar, the co-founding president and CEO of Voto Latino, told Power Up of the study.

a group of people sitting at a table: Texas State University students register to vote in Hays County during a National Voter Registration Day event on campus in San Marcos, Tex. last year (Tamir Kalifa for The Washington Post)
  • Further, 70 percent of all people Voto Latino registered were under the age of 39: “The younger Latinx was a larger share of the overall Latino electorate, the state swung for Biden: Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and Pennsylvania,” Kumar told us. “If this trend holds true: Texas and North Carolina will be next in play as younger Latinos eclipse older generations.”
  • Florida, where the Latino vote share is older, will be harder to flip,” Kumar added, as there's “not enough young people to surpass older Latinx generations.”

Flashback: Nearly half of Latino voters in Florida cast a ballot for former president Trump, per network polling, and the Democratic Party was panned for failing to build a strong GOTV operation to target Latinos in the state.

  • “To their credit, they turned around the engagement. It went from zero to 80 overnight. But they were trying to do in six weeks what the Republican[s] have been doing for five years,” Fernand Amandi, a Democratic pollster and strategist in the state, told our colleagues Jose Del Real and Arelis Hernández of the Democratic Party's operation in Florida last November.

Kumar and other Democratic operatives have long advocated for year round voter registration programs to keep up with the GOP's efforts on the ground. The need for consistent outreach is now even more pressing, according to Kumar, with the spate of voting laws proposed by Republicans to limit early in-in person and Election Day voting in states where conservatives see “rapid demographic shifts on the horizon.”

  • Identification is now required to cast a mailed ballot in Florida and Georgia, the Associated Press's Christina Cassidy reports. “ … legislation to require additional identification for mail voting was introduced in Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas, according to information compiled by the Voting Rights Lab, which advocates for expanded voter access.”
  • An ID requirement is “expected to disproportionally affect poor, minority and college-age voters – groups more likely not to have an ID or to have one with a different address, per Cassidy.
  • Earlier this month in Arizona, “GOP Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday quickly signed a bill into law that could remove tens of thousands of voters from the state's early ballot mailing list,” NPR's Ben Giles reported.
  • “Democrats accused Republicans of pushing for an unnecessary change that will make it harder to vote — a response, they said, to record voter turnout in 2020, when President Biden became the first Democrat to win Arizona since 1996.”

Related in Nevada and Arizona: “Republicans who sought to undercut or overturn President Joe Biden’s election win are launching campaigns to become their states’ top election officials next year, alarming local officeholders and opponents who are warning about pro-Trump, ‘ends justify the means’ candidates taking big roles in running the vote,” Politico's Zach Montellaro reported yesterday.

  • “The candidates include Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, a leader of the congressional Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 Electoral College results; Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, one of the top proponents of the conspiracy-tinged vote audit in Arizona’s largest county; Nevada’s Jim Marchant, who sued to have his 5-point congressional loss last year overturned; and Michigan’s Kristina Karamo, who made dozens of appearances in conservative media to claim fraud in the election. Now, they are running for secretary of state in key battlegrounds that could decide control of Congress in 2022 — and who wins the White House in 2024.

At the White House

HAPPENING TODAY: “A year after George Floyd was killed at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, his family members will fly to Washington, D.C., for a private audience with President Biden, their first in-person meeting with the president since they buried Floyd,” our colleague Cleve R. Wootson Jr. reports.

  • The unfulfilled promise. “An unfulfilled promise looms over the meeting as progress on police reform has stagnated, including legislation bearing Floyd’s name that Biden had hoped would be law on the anniversary of his death.”
  • “Floyd’s murder sparked an often-incendiary conversation about the role race plays in criminal justice, economics, education and other aspects of American life. But a conversation about systemic racism does not equate to action to dismantle it.”
  • “Former president Donald Trump regularly made racially charged statements and was hostile to Black Lives Matter protesters, deriding them as violent ‘thugs.’ Biden in many ways framed his presidential run in opposition to that.”
  • But “some have been concerned for months that Biden — a moderate who was criticized during the campaign for speaking kindly of segregationist senators, and who told the host of a radio show aimed at a Black audience that if they selected Trump over him ‘then you ain’t Black’ — was ill-equipped to tackle the problems.”

Meanwhile, negotiations continue. “Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) said they are continuing to work toward a bipartisan compromise on police reform legislation,” our colleagues Felicia Sonmez and Mike DeBonis report.

On the Hill

‘POLITICALLY BAD’: Our Post colleague Aaron Blake tells us why the GOP keeps shifting their arguments against a Jan. 6 commission. “There have been plenty of indications that Republicans don’t want to see a congressional Jan. 6 commission for one very basic reason: It’s politically bad.”

  • “It’s bad because it would necessarily point the finger (to some degree) at Trump — at whom even many top Republicans previously pointed the finger.”
  • “It’s bad because, despite attempts to distance the party from Trump after the Capitol riot, those efforts clearly failed and the GOP is saddled with Trump.”
  • “But mostly, it’s bad because it forces them to relive this ugly chapter at a time when, history suggests, their chances of regaining control of Congress in the 2022 election look increasingly good. It’s a time in which focusing on pretty much anything else would be better.”

In the agencies

POST EXCLUSIVE: “An obscure security unit tasked with protecting the Commerce Department’s officials and facilities has evolved into something more akin to a counterintelligence operation that collected information on hundreds of people inside and outside the department,” our colleague Shawn Boburg reports.

  • “The Investigations and Threat Management Service (ITMS) covertly searched employees’s offices at night, ran broad keyword searches of their emails trying to surface signs of foreign influence and scoured Americans’s social media for critical comments about the census, according to documents and interviews with five former investigators.”
  • In one instance, “the unit searched Commerce servers for particular Chinese words. The search resulted in the monitoring of many Asian American employees over benign correspondence.”
  • “Someone watched too many ‘Mission Impossible’ movies,” Bruce Ridlen, a former supervisor, told our colleague.

From the courts

KEY IMPEACHMENT WITNESS SUES MIKE POMPEO AND U.S. FOR $1.8 MILLION: “Trump’s former ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, is suing former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and the U.S. government for $1.8 million to compensate for legal fees incurred during the 2019 House impeachment probe,” our colleague John Hudson reports.

  • “The suit alleges that Pompeo reneged on his promise that the State Department would cover the fees after Sondland delivered bombshell testimony accusing Trump and his aides of pressuring the government of Ukraine to investigate then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter in exchange for military aid.”
  • Turning tables: “Pompeo may have his own legal bills to contend with. Though the allegations against Pompeo relate to his conduct during his time as secretary of state, it was not clear whether the Justice Department will defend him,” the New York Times's Michael S. Schmidt reports.

The policies

BIDEN UNDER PRESSURE: “Biden is coming under increasing pressure to abandon a Trump-era immigration rule that has sealed off the United States to most migrants during the pandemic, with human rights officials and two of the administration’s own medical consultants saying the measure endangers vulnerable families,” the New York Times’s Zolan Kanno-Youngs reports.

  • “The policy, known as Title 42, allows border agents to turn away migrants at the southern border without giving them a chance to apply for protections in the United States. The order justifies the expulsions as a health measure to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in holding facilities.”
  • “The Biden administration’s embrace of Title 42 highlights a difficult balancing act: how to make good on his pledge to have a more compassionate approach to migrants fleeing poverty and persecution while managing a surge of people who want to come to the United States.”

Outside the Beltway

SPECIAL REPORT: What the Tulsa race massacre destroyed. “Imagine a community of great possibilities and prosperity built by Black people for Black people. Places to work. Places to live. Places to learn and shop and play. Places to worship,” the New York Times reports. “Now imagine it being ravaged by flames.”

  • “In May 1921, the Tulsa neighborhood of Greenwood was a fully realized antidote to the racial oppression of the time. Built in the early part of the century in a northern pocket of the city, it was a thriving community of commerce and family life to its roughly 10,000 residents.”
  • “Greenwood was so promising, so vibrant that it became home to what was known as America’s Black Wall Street. But what took years to build was erased in less than 24 hours by racial violence — sending the dead into mass graves and forever altering family trees.”

Global power

CONDEMNATIONS CONTINUE TO POUR IN FOR BELARUS: “Belarus faced international condemnation and isolation Monday, a day after President Alexander Lukashenko sent a MiG-29 fighter jet to snatch a commercial plane out of the sky while it was flying over his country’s airspace,” our colleagues Michael Birnbaum and Isabelle Khurshudyan report. “European leaders agreed to significantly toughen sanctions on Belarus and to bar European Union airlines from flying over the country’s airspace.”

  • But will it amount to anything? Probably not. “There was no indication that the intensified squeeze would alter Lukashenko’s resolve — especially with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia steadfast in his support,” the New York Times’s Anton Troianovski reports.
  • “On the contrary, Lukashenko on Monday tightened restrictions on dissent even further, signing new laws that banned things like online live streams from unauthorized protests.”
  • “Lukashenko does not see it necessary to bow to the West’s demands — he has Russia, which he relies on,” Artyom Shraibman, a Minsk-based nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center, told Troianovski. “He has not been cornered.”

Watch the passengers aboard the Ryanair flight describe the confusion and panic:


INTRODUCING … THE LINDA LINDAS �: “It’s Friday and the Linda Lindas are jamming in their family’s living room, bouncing around in their socks and whipping their hair around their faces,” BuzzFeed News’s Stephanie K. Baer writes. “It feels like a normal afternoon, but for this teen/tween punk rock band it’s a surreal moment.”

  • “In the past 24 hours, a video of the half-Asian, half-Latinx group — two sisters, their cousin, and close friend who range in age from 10 to 16 — performing their song ‘Racist, Sexist Boy’ at the Los Angeles Public Library rocked the Internet.”

“[It’s been] really intense and overwhelming,” Lucia, 14, told Baer. “She said people have been flooding the band’s DMs asking if they can perform next week. ‘I’m like, ‘Next week? I’m in school.’”

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