NPR Helps Democrats Explain How They’ll Stop Losing Latino Voters


The Democrats are freaking out at how they didn’t dominate the Latino vote as they expected in 2021 (or in 2020, for that matter). So now the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has shared their new minority-engagement plan exclusively with NPR race-beat reporter Juana Summers. How cozy!

On Wednesday’s All Things Considered, no critiques from Republicans were considered as Summers provided a platform for DCCC chairman Sean Patrick Maloney, a congressman from New York. 

SEAN PATRICK MALONEY: Much more meaningful engagement, not just showing up at election time, and putting the resources behind it with a culturally competent, diverse team that knows what it’s doing because we believe when we invest in our most reliable voters, we get a great return.

JUANA SUMMERS: What Maloney is talking about there — early engagement, cultural competency — in part acknowledges some critiques from activists and strategists. They say that Democratic outreach to voters of color can often feel like an afterthought, and that when the party does reach out, it sometimes doesn’t feel authentic.

For just one example, I want to turn back to a conversation I had more than a year ago with Chuck Rocha. He’s a Democratic political consultant who headed up Latino outreach for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign last year and saw pitfalls with other Democrats.

CHUCK ROCHA: Unlike all the other campaigns, who just have regular white establishment consultants who will horribly Google Translate something to Spanish that was made for a white person in the suburbs, we would actually use cultural competency to make sure that that piece was done through the lens of a Latino by a Latino for a Latino.

“Cultural competency” is code for winning “voters who don’t speak English.” Apparently, all the pro-Democrat bias on Univision and Telemundo isn’t enough. They’re concerned they are losing minority voters who are not college-educated…people who probably don’t listen to NPR at the Starbucks.

JUANA SUMMERS: The committee is also working to combat disinformation, with a focus on media frequently consumed in communities of color. In the days leading up to the November 2020 election, voters of color were flooded with disinformation, and some critics say the party did not do enough to fight back against it. Maloney talked specifically about Republican efforts to broadly link Democrats to socialism and defunding the police.

Oh, sure! It’s “disinformation” to say Democrats spend like socialists and have spoken in favor of defunding the police. They can count on NPR not to laugh at this argument. 

On Thursday’s NPR Politics podcast, the liberal reporters agreed this is just rhetoric.

ASMA KHALID: I have heard nearly identical things from campaign activists in every campaign cycle I have covered, and I’m not sure I get what’s different.

KELSEY SNELL: Yeah, I have to agree.

JUANA SUMMERS: And I agree with both of you because I feel like I have those conversations after every election cycle.

But hope springs eternal. Summers claimed “this is a broad proposal that is undergirded by research. They’re investing seven figures in researching and polling.”

Neither the report or the podcast discussed how Democrats might lose Latinos by telling parents they shouldn’t have any role in their children’s education. NPR keeps the conversation very….contained. 

NPR is paid for by….you. You can share your opinion on this by contacting NPR Public Editor Kelly McBride here. 

What do you think?

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