In Georgia, politicians cannot overlook the Latino voter. While African-American voters could make or break the race for Stacey Abrams – the Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia – the Latino vote cannot be discounted. And this is something that Abrams – who hopes to defeat Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp to become the state’s first Black governor – has acknowledged.
Georgia is home to the fastest-growing Latino population, according to the Pew Research Center. By November 1, 2016, Latinos accounted for a mere 2.3 percent of the state’s registered voters, but groups have actively worked to increase that number ahead of November’s election. While some experts believe that the Latino community’s dislike of Donald Trump won’t translate into a big turnout for Democrats nationwide, in Georgia, they may be motivated by Kemp’s anti-immigrant stance.
That’s not to say that immigration is the biggest priority for this group. Latinos are often, incorrectly, treated like a monolith. But as the election nears, it’s important for candidates appeal to this community through their positions on education, jobs and the economy, and healthcare – all of which Latinos said they cared more about than immigration in 2012. And this changes depending on the region of the country.
As several polls put Abrams and Kemp at a statistical tie, we’re looking at where each candidate stands on four issues that matter most to Latinos in Georgia.