President Donald Trump’s victory last year was widely understood to challenge predictions of a coming surge in Democratic-leaning Latino voters that would forever alter the American electorate.
But with National Hispanic Heritage Month underway, some Latino political leaders are pointing to Congress to argue that Trump’s win was an anomaly.
As Trump was celebrating his success with white working-class voters, nine congressional districts and Puerto Rico welcomed new Latino lawmakers. Six of them — all but one of them Democrats — replaced white or African-American incumbents.
“While we lost at the top of the ticket, the untold story of the election was the dramatic increase in Latino participation rates that allowed for a record number of Latinos to be elected to office,” said Cristobal Alex, president of the Latino Victory Project, an outreach group backed by Democratic activists, and the national deputy director of voter outreach and mobilization for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. “There are bright spots.”
In the Senate, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada became the country’s first Latina senator. Her historic win was heralded as a “silver lining” in an otherwise bleak year for Hispanic liberals. The new members added to a growing number of Latinos in Congress, who are slowly becoming more diverse.
The number of Hispanic members in the 115th Congress — 41 — is more than double than what it was 20 years ago.
Read the full story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Record gains by Latinos in Congress contradict narrative