HARLINGEN, Texas – A top political action committee supporting Democratic Congressional candidates is pumping more than half a million dollars in the Rio Grande Valley to influence the mid-term elections.
But will that money be spent wisely and will it go on outreach programs that target new Latino voters?
According to the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), one million more Latinos will cast their vote in the Texas midterm general elections. This will represent an increase of five percent of the share of the vote of Latino voters, as compared to the Texas turnout number of 21.5% in 2018.
Dr. Jerry Polinard, professor emeritus in UT-Rio Grande Valley’s Department of Political Science, said: “There is always a concern about how funds are spent. Experts and algorithms enter the picture. There is no argument regarding the powerful role of television. But, especially in South Texas, “personal” appeals, door-to-door, have always been effective. To quote the wisdom of Lyndon B. Johnson, the potential voter likes to ‘feel the press of flesh’.”
The pro-Democrat group investing in the Rio Grande Valley is the House Majority PAC. It is placing $19.9 million in television reservations to run in the final month of the 2022 election cycle across 23 markets. One of the 23 markets is the Rio Grande Valley. It is pumping $506,250 into TV ad buys in the Valley.
The House Majority PAC announced an initial $101.8 million in television and digital reservations across 50 markets announced in March.
House Majority PAC’s television and digital reservations for 2022 total over $121 million, more than House Majority PAC’s reservations in 2020.
“The GOP continues to nominate extremist candidates who will act as a rubber stamp for the disastrous MAGA agenda, which is why House Majority PAC is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to secure a Democratic House Majority in 2022,” said House Majority PAC Executive Director Abby Curran Horrell.
“These reservations will enable us to flip and defend seats across the country, and show just how out-of-touch Republicans are with the American people.”
Horrell said additional reservations and changes may be made as campaigns and races develop.
Asked how his campaign is going, U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (pictured above) of McAllen said: “I have been working hard and I am happy the Democratic Party is investing in our region. South Texas values are reflected in the Democratic Party. And with special interest Republican money trying to buy elections in South Texas, it’s important our people are engaged and voting in November.”
SVREP says the outcome of Texas races will increasingly be shaped by Latino voters.
“SVREP anticipates that 1,034 million more Latinos will cast their vote this election. SVREP will mobilize the largest number of Latino voters this November with direct and digital strategies,” stated Lydia Camarillo, SVREP and William C. Velásquez Institute president.
“With Texas as the largest competitive electorate vote state, the voter registration and turnout drive for this November will have an impact for the 2024 election cycle.”
The Texas Latino voter registration increased from 2018 to 2022 by 884,000 by October 2022, from 2,843 million to 3,727 million Latino voters. These are SVREP’s projection numbers therefore the voter registration numbers could decrease or increase.
The SVREP projects that Latino vote turnout numbers will increase by 1.034 million in 2022 general midterm elections, compared to 2018 general midterm general elections. Latinos will be the largest ethnic electoral group to turnout in Texas. An estimated 2.952 million Latinos will vote in the November general elections. By comparison, the Black vote is projected to turnout at 1.3 million, the Asian vote will cast their vote at an estimated 432,000 on November 8, 2022.
“The William C. Velásquez Institute (WCVI) research, from 2018 to 2022, illustrates that Texas will be the largest competitive state with the largest increase of voter registration and turnout numbers of the Latino vote in the 2022 midterm general elections. Florida will turnout 1.630 million Latinos in 2022, compared to 1,393 million in 2018. This is a 238,000 increase in turnout. Arizona, the next state with the significant number of Latino voters will see an increase of 271,000 Latino voters casting their vote in the midterm general elections, from 588,000 in 2018 to 859,000 in 2022,” said Patricia Gonzales, SVREP director of 0perations and WCVI vice president.
Gonzales said SVREP has registered to vote three million Latinos, trained 150,000 Latino leaders, and won 210 voting rights lawsuits. It was founded in1974 by the late William C. Velásquez in San Antonio, Texas.
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