CBS News political journalists and commentators Ed O’Keefe, Anthony Salvanto, Leslie Sanchez and Joel Payne participated in a Paramount Inclusion Week panel about the midterm elections this week.
A major topic of conversation had to do with the Latino vote in South Texas, and how we’re seeing an increasing number of Latinos switch from the Democratic to the Republican Party.
But who are these people, where are they from and why are they swapping parties?
“The Latino voters in south Texas who are making the difference are second and third generation,” said Sanchez, a CBS News contributor and longtime Republican party pollster. “They are living in exurbs, suburbs and rural areas. They are higher income. They are predominantly married and between the ages of 30 and 64. They do not necessarily have a college education.”
Sanchez added, “You have people who did chose not to go to college or maybe got some sort of trade skill, but they are entrepreneurial and they’re making more money. So you may have a college educated Latino in an urban city, 70% likely to be Democrat to vote Democratic. You’ll have a Latino who’s married in a rural area, didn’t get a college education, maybe a couple of hours of college to making $80,000 a year has their own business and they are very likely to vote Republican this cycle. So we’re following the wrong trend line if we’re only looking at college education and not looking at where they live.”
Sanchez also notes the increase in Latinas running for office in South Texas, many running as Republicans. These include Cassie Garcia and Monica de la Cruz.
“So it’s the convergence of a high polarization, intense frustration with their current party system and the ability to raise money through social networks, technology outside of the state of Texas, that is really lifting and empowering these women up,” said Sanchez. “And it’s I find it fascinating. Several up to half of them are married to Border Patrol agents or came from law enforcement backgrounds. You know, in terms of these women that are running, that’s not a coincidence. They’re tough and they want to focus on that issue. So it’s meeting that moment. And what’s different about Texas is that I don’t think it’s something that’s just going to be a flash in the pan.”