With the November Elections steadily approaching, politicians across the country are hitting the ground hard in order to draw in votes before the polls open on November 5th. And as candidates hit various communities in order to win support, there is one particular community among them all that’s becoming the key constitutes that politicians want in order to snag their election: Latinos.
At the end of last week, candidates for New York Governor took their campaign trail into the Latino community hoping to sway their vote. However, one candidate took their campaign trail even farther than the Latino community within the state or city but decided to appeal to the Latinos at home by stomping the campaign ground in their country-of-origin itself.
On Thursday night, Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo took his campaign overseas flying into Santo Domingo where he began his first stop of his campaign trail for the Latino vote in the Dominican Republic. The following morning, Gov. Cuomo met with Dominican officials and toured through the country’s Palacio Nacional kicking off a series of small events through the Dominican Republic.
“In New York the Dominican community has been growing and is becoming more and more important economically and politically,” said Cuomo, “and it is a development that we want to encourage and continue.”
With the rising population of Dominicans in New York, Gov. Cuomo and the President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina discussed the potential of establishing a stronger trading partnerships between the state and country and creating higher education opportunities between the two.
After his brief stint in the Dominican Republic, Gov. Cuomo then traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico where he met with the Caribbean country’s government officials. One of the officials whom Gov. Cuomo met with was Governor of Puerto Rico Alejandro García-Padilla.
“New York and Puerto Rico are connected by deep historical roots, and I look forward to continuing to work with Andrew to keep that relationship stronger than ever,” said García-Padilla in a statement, the Puerto Rican Governor also endorsed Gov. Cuomo for re-election.
Meanwhile back in New York, Gov. Cuomo’s opponent Republican Rob Astorino took his campaign through the streets of South Bronx hoping to pull votes from Latino voters there.
In response to Gov. Cuomo heading to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, Astorino said, “He’d rather be hanging out at the presidential palace in the Dominican Republic than hanging out like I am with the Dominicans in New York.”
Not shying away from commenting on his opponents campaign move to head overseas, Astorino even stated that Gov. Cuomo was pandering and panicking by making such a trip with Election Day being just several weeks away.
So why did Gov. Cuomo go overseas as opposed to hitting local neighborhoods where Dominicans and Puerto Ricans live to earn their vote that way?
According to Gov. Cuomo, the trip was taken as a way to show the two distinctive Latino groups in New York that he has “respect for their community and their origins,” and added that he thinks “this trip, accompanied by their representatives, does that.”
However, Republican Candidate Astorino may have an up over Gov. Cuomo. Since he announced he was running for governor, Astorino has made his presence known within the Latino community in the state and city.
“It’s not just something I’m doing for the first time today,” said Astorino on Friday, regarding his campaigning in the Bronx, “I’ve been doing it all campaign.”
The start of Astorino’s campaign began with an event back in March which was held in the Bronx.
While Latinos are generally more likely to vote Democrat as opposed to Republican, this year’s election may see a change to that. With the current anti-immigration sentiment sweeping across the political world and rising tide of racial discrimination being felt by Latinos in certain city areas, and a lack of support from politicians on either side there is an air of wonder regarding who Latinos are more interested in voting for.
With Gov. Cuomo choosing to campaign in the countries of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico makes this sentiment regarding not having the Latino vote seem like his move to campaign there is an effort to sway Latinos state and citywide. While immigrants from those countries living here may be swayed to vote Cuomo, what of the Latinos who feel politicians like Cuomo are doing nothing in-regards to the increased aggression they experience at the hands of law enforcement like the NYPD?
Astorino may have been campaigning in such Latino neighborhoods more so than Cuomo himself, but he too isn’t avoidant of such issues that are currently being experienced by Latinos and other groups in such diverse neighborhoods.
The issue is that any political candidate who are able to sway Latinos to vote for them if they can stick to their promises?
It’s this question that has many politicians who currently hold positions in office stirring about trying to keep the Latino community’s vote. While these are merely predictions, and could totally be just thoughts we will have to say what happens when November 5th comes and goes.