(The author is a Latino consultant for American Values 2024)
New York: The election proposals of independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., backed by the American Values 2024 Super Pac, are drawing the Latino vote, which became the second-largest ethnic voting bloc in the USA in the 2020 elections. Latinos directly contributed to President Joe Biden’s electoral push in states such as Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York, and Texas, among others.
In the U.S., a Latino turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote in presidential elections every 30 seconds. Their influence in the 2024 elections is growing stronger. However, many Latinos do not align with the Democratic or Republican platforms, creating a significant pool of unaffiliated voters. According to the Pew Research Center, about 34.5 million Hispanic Americans were eligible to vote in 2022, which could increase in 2024, making it a decisive voting bloc.
Based on these studies, the American Values 2024 Super Pac, supporting independent candidate RFK JR, has incorporated prominent Hispanic leaders into its platform. Alejandra Chaparro serves as the Latino director, Lilliam Banner as the Hispanic organizer, and Esteban Cabrera as the Latino consultant, leading the Latino teams of the Super Pac. The Super Pac also invests $15 million to help RFK JR collect ballots in the mentioned vital states.
A recent survey of Hispanic voters by Florida International University (FIU) reveals a shift in party affiliations. While most Latinos are still registered as Democrats, support for the party is declining, and many Latinos are abandoning their party affiliation altogether.
The survey asked about the greatest threat to national security, and the top response was the issue of open borders and immigration. Contrary to popular belief, Hispanics are not in favor of border chaos and are deeply concerned about Biden’s flawed immigration policy and open-border approach to smuggling and abuse. In contrast, they resonate with RFK Jr.’s proposal for the immediate closure of the Mexico-U.S. border in his immigration plan.
As president, Kennedy aims to end the humanitarian crisis by addressing its immediate cause: an uncontrolled border. While sealing the border to illegal immigration, his administration will enact deeper reforms to curb long-term illegal migration while expanding legal and orderly immigration based on principles of justice and equity. This approach is capturing the attention of Latino Americans.
A new “Sienna College and The New York Times” survey corroborates this trend. Robert Kennedy Jr. is ahead of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump among voters under 45 in crucial battleground states. The measurement, conducted among 3,662 registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, found that Kennedy was favored by 24% of respondents in a three-way race between him, Biden, and Trump. Among voters aged 18 to 29, Kennedy was selected by 34%, compared to Biden (30%) and Trump (29%). For voters aged 30 to 44, he obtained 31%, while Biden and Trump received 30%. Overall, among voters under 45, Kennedy garnered 32%, Biden 30%, and Trump 29%.
Why do Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s proposals resonate with the concerns of young Latino voters? According to a study by the organization CIRCLE, Latinos under 30 are more likely to vote based on issues affecting their environment than party affiliation. Young Latinos express dissatisfaction with both major parties’ commitment to the Hispanic community. The study identifies problems such as economic decline, inflation, abortion, student loan aggression, unemployment, low wages, and gun violence as their primary concerns. They vote for candidates they believe offer solutions to these concerns, seeking someone who understands that working families need financial support. This is reflected in their connection with independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., aligning with the priorities of his campaign: the cost of living, housing, the environment, honest government, reconciliation, peace, the border, civil liberties, racial healing, revitalization, and veterans, all resonating with the demands of young Latino voters.
Currently, Latinos constitute the second-largest group in the United States, with almost one in five people in the country being Hispanic. Latinos are now the second-largest group of eligible voters in the U.S. and play an increasingly important and defining role in American political dynamics.