Can Hillary hold top place among Latino voters?

Events that will roll out over the next month will aim to seal support among Latinos.

David Becker/AP
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Las Vegas in June. Clinton's campaign is planning a major push to organize Latino voters ahead of the Nevada caucuses and early primary contests in Texas, Florida and Colorado, all with an eye toward connecting with Hispanics in the 2016 election.

Already the favorite candidate among Latinos by far, Hillary Clinton will launch a campaign on Friday to stay in that spot.

"Latinos for Hillary" will mobilize Latino voters, lawmakers, and elected officials in earnest in time for the Nevada caucuses and early primaries in Florida, Colorado, and Texas early next year.

This new push for the Latino demographic comes on the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month, and will kick off Friday in a Telemundo interview in Miami; campaign events this month in San Antonio and Las Vegas; and house parties to generate support organized around the Democratic presidential debate on Oct. 13 in Las Vegas, and the GOP debate on Oct. 28 in Boulder, Colo., the Associated Press reports.

"She's shown a deep commitment to the issues that Hispanics care about over a long period of time. This isn't somebody who showed up, decided to run for president and then a lightbulb came on and she decided to reach out to the Hispanic community," Rep. Joaquin Castro, (D) of Texas, who will campaign for Clinton in Nevada, told the AP.

In May, Clinton unveiled an immigration policy that promises everything Latino voters want to hear: a pathway to full citizenship, expanded executive actions, and reform to inhumane detention practices.

According to a summer report from Noticias Univision, if the elections were to happen today, Ms. Clinton would garner 64 percent of the Hispanic vote.  

Perhaps that should be no surprise, given that she has little competition for votes among the candidates, particularly Republican ones.

Her biggest Democratic competitor, the progressive Bernie Sanders, is for now largely unknown among Latinos, though he's ramped up efforts to relay to Latinos that his major issues are the same ones they care about: immigration reform, a federal minimum wage, expanded social security and free healthcare and college tuition, reports the Guardian.

“Latinos are more likely to be supportive of a bigger government providing more services,”  Mark Lopez, director of Hispanic research at the Pew Research Center told the Guardian.

On the Republican side, Mrs. Clinton’s competition for Latino votes is paltry, given that the party has become known in recent years for its hostility to immigrants, a perception buoyed by Donald Trump’s summer clash with popular Latino journalist Jorge Ramos of Univision, and his claim that the Mexican government is flooding the US with rapists, criminals, and drug traffickers.

“There's no question there's a clear line, night and day, between Hillary Clinton and all of the other candidates," Clinton supporter Rep. Xavier Becerra, (D) of California told the AP.

For his part, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose wife was born in Mexico, is viewed as favorably among the Latinos as Mr. Sanders, according to data compiled by the Huffington Post, and slightly less favorably than Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Cuba. Among the Republicans, Bush and Rubio are the most open to immigration reform.

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