Washington, D.C. – Operación ¡Vamos! has been on the ground in Nevada since April talking to Hispanic voters. Catherine Cortez Masto and Democrats in Nevada are completely out of touch with Hispanic voters, who care about crime, inflation, job quality, the economy and education as their top issues. Operación ¡Vamos! in Nevada will continue to focus on contacting more voters and making sure that Adam Laxalt and Republicans have a big win in Nevada on November 8th.
Helder Toste, the field and coalitions director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, spearheaded Operation VAMOS, a new grassroots campaign this election year to get out the Hispanic vote in nine states with key Senate races.
CNN joined him in east Las Vegas, a largely Democratic area, where he visited homes of Hispanic voters who data suggested could be open to voting for Republicans.
“Traditionally, Democrats have gotten 80, 90% of the vote here,” Toste told CNN during a walk through the neighborhood, noting that the GOP saw a slight shift in their direction in this particular area in 2020 and is looking to expand that.
“It’s about having a conversation,” Toste said. “We first talk about what they care about and then we talk about our candidates. Because our candidates have to respond to their issues or we’re not going to be able to get their votes.”
Many of those doorstep conversations, he said, happen in Spanish.
At one house, he met voters listed on his app as “weak Republican,” meaning they don’t always vote in midterms, who said they planned to vote this year for the GOP Senate nominee, Adam Laxalt, who is running to unseat Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto.
But most of the prospective voters Toste talked to were on the fence.
Maria Melgoza came to the door excited because, until now, neither Republicans nor Democrats had ever personally asked for her vote.
She said she has always voted Democrat but admitted that Joe Biden “promised many things, but I feel like he hasn’t delivered. And the other party, I don’t know much about it,” she said in Spanish.
Melgoza is exactly the kind of voter Republicans are trying to attract.
The Nevada race is an interesting test case for the GOP push for Hispanic voters since, six years ago, Cortez Masto became the first Latina ever elected to the Senate.
“Even if they’re seeing a name, the name doesn’t mean anything to them, because it’s someone who hasn’t showed up,” Toste argued.
Cortez Masto campaign aides pushed back hard on that, providing CNN lists of examples, going back to her previous Senate campaign in 2016, of Hispanic outreach in paid television ads and on-the-ground events.
But then came 2020. Republicans slightly increased their share of Hispanic votes and saw an opening to push for more.
GOP leaders understand that without Hispanic support, party viability will be limited given how quickly the Hispanic population is growing in the US.
According to the US Census Bureau, the number of Hispanics in the US reached 62.1 million in 2020, up from 50.5 million a decade earlier. That represented a 23% growth in the Hispanic population.
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