OKLAHOMA CITY, January 5, 2014 – The 2014 midterm elections is right around the corner, and political parties from both sides of the aisle are lining up campaign speeches and finger pointing tactics to get voters out to vote.
Mid-term elections historically have low voter turnout. However, Hispanic voters could make a difference in several races across the country due to their high voter turnout in the 2012 general election.
The Hispanic vote has the power to determine elections in states such as Texas, California, Nevada and Arizona, which will also impact national politics.
At the state level, for example, George P. Bush is running for Land Commisioner in Texas. His major opponent is his last name. His election could hang on his ability to win Hispanic support.
Although George has a Hispanic background, political pundits are skeptical that he can win over Hispanic voters, especially from southern Texas districts which are traditionally Democratic strongholds.
At the national level, President Obama will likely weigh in heavily to ensure Democratic Party success in the mid-term elections. He not only wants to position the Party for the next Presidential election, but also wants to keep his party as the majority in the Senate.
However, President Obama’s failure to deliver on promises to pass immigration reform since 2008 could seriously hurt the Democratic Party in this election cycle with Hispanic voters. Hispanics could turn their back on the Democratic Party over this issue, especially if Republican candidates bring new promises of immigration reform as part of their platform.
If Hispanics turn out in high numbers to elect Congressional officials who offer realistic opportunities to deliver immigration reform, President Obama and the Democratic Party could find themselves without a Senate majority. They may also face a daunting task in regaining the Hispanic vote ahead of 2016 elections.
On the other hand, if Republicans can woo Hispanics for the mid-term election, they will be well positioned to deliver that same vote in two years.