Survey reveals Colorado Latino Millennial voters are more likely to protest than fill out ballot

Posted at 11:25 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-21 01:25:59-04

DENVER -- Latino Millennial voters are more likely to protest or rally for an issue than actually vote.

A comprehensive survey of almost 2,000 Colorado Latinos, including 400 Millennials, revealed that and even more about one of Colorado's fastest growing voting blocks.

Two national organizations, Latino Decisions and Latino Data Project, conducted three statewide surveys of almost 2,000 Latinos, including 400 by email to Latinos aged 18-33.

Read the survey research here and here.

"Latino Millennials, more so than anybody else, including white Millennials, they get their information from their smartphone," said Latino Decisions Principal Gabe Sanchez. "That's how they want to be reached, so our polling did that. We reached them where they're at, and that's online."

Of those Millennial voters, only 49 percent associated themselves as Democrats, 27 percent Independent and 15 percent Republican. In general, they don't have a connection to any party.

"With Bernie Sanders, we saw him as not a Democrat or a Republican, but somebody that was for the people, by the people, and that was about the issues," said Millennial voter Lalo Pacheco. "As a Latino Millennial, that's what we care about. We don't care about what party you represent; we're kind of upset with the two-party system."

"They're not identifying with a party. They're not even identifying with a candidate. They're identifying with issues," said Katherine Archuleta, founder of Latino Data Project.

The research found that Millennials are more likely to attend a protest, more than turning in their ballot.

"They don't necessarily see voting as the mechanism to create the change that they want in society," said Sanchez. "That's our challenge, to figure out how to move them towards voting."

The surveys revealed that a celebrity call to action, from someone like Shakira or Jennifer Lopez, is not as powerful for a Millennial as convincing a powerful woman in their life.

"Reaching out to the mother or the aunt or the grandmother in the family is equally as effective as, maybe, an ad or a radio spot," said Archuleta.

Another tidbit from the research revealed that the Millennial population "has significantly less support for Obamacare, raising the minimum wage, repealing the 'open carry' gun laws in Colorado and having a stronger U.S. presence in Syria to combat ISIS."

"Although they're not as supportive of Obamacare, when you ask them a slightly different question, and you ask them, 'Do you think everyone should have access to health insurance?' [Their support is] off the charts," said Sanchez.

"It does not represent the majority of the people that I associate myself with," said Millennial voter Esmeralda Rodriguez. "To see that statistic, it's very surprising, and it's something I've never heard before today."

Currently, one in five Coloradans is Latino. By 2040, the U.S. Census estimates it will be one in three.

"Soon, we're no longer going to be the minority. People need to know that and realize and accept that fact," said Rodriguez.

"We're getting more educated. We're learning about politics, and we are a force to be reckoned with," said Pacheco.


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