A recent CNN poll put El Paso’s Democratic congressman Beto O’Rourke at 62 percent of the Latino vote in Texas’ Senate race, compared to incumbent Ted Cruz’s 35 percent, even while white voters broke out 2-to-1 for Cruz in the same survey. As Election Day approaches, both sides will be looking for ways to keep their bases motivated to get to the polls in addition to swaying undecided voters. For help with the former, O’Rourke’s team could do far worse than their plan to have Beto speak at what is essentially a free Los Tigres del Norte concert in the predominantly Mexican and Mexican-American Rio Grande Valley on Thursday.
Música urbana has been gaining major ground on the mainstream U.S. charts, but its ascent hardly changes the fact that the regional Mexican sounds of Los Tigres have long been a populist force. The group has racked up more entries on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs Chart than any other artist and sold over 37 million albums during its 50-year career. Thursday’s rally will bring Los Tigres to the Bert Ogden Arena in Hidalgo County, where in 2017, 92.2 percent of the population identified as Latino on the U.S. Census. The group will be headlining a roster that also includes country group Asleep at the Wheel, Tejano locals Little Joe y la Familia, and of course, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke.
O’Rourke’s considerable lead among Latino voters can be attributed to his vastly more progressive stances on issues from education to healthcare. He supports increasing federal aid to public schools in areas with low-income families, and is a proponent of stabilizing the Affordable Care Act. Opponent Cruz is more into school vouchers and repealing Obamacare, on top of his well-known draconian views on immigration, NFL player activism, and reproductive health issues.
Los Tigres put out a statement this week explaining their motivation for playing the Beto rally:
“The families of our Latino community have been a cornerstone of Texas’ population for generations, but are once again under direct attack from an administration built on divisiveness; while a sitting Senator turns a blind eye and deaf ear to our struggles. In stark contrast, Los Tigres del Norte believes that Beto O’Rourke stands WITH our community on important issues, such as immigration reform, affordable healthcare, a future for our DREAMers, and more immediate assistance to our families still separated at the border. So, in this moment when it is of absolute importance to change leadership in the Senate, we will be proud to appear with Beto this coming Thursday, and ask all Texas members of our community to use your ballots to stand unified with Beto on November 6.”
Fans took to Twitter to show their excitement:
Los Tigres del Norte plays Bert Ogden Arena on October 18. For more information and to RSVP, click here.