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Why candidates are vying for the Hispanic evangelical vote

Latino faith voters tend to decide last minute

ORLANDO, Fla. – Vice President Mike Pence is expected to host a Latinos for Trump event in Orlando on Saturday at Central Christian University.

The president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, Rev. Gabriel Salguero, said candidates are targeting the Latino community ahead of the general election.

But he said, they should specifically be looking at Latino faith voters.

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“I would say that the Hispanic evangelical community is the quintessential swing voter, and here’s why: about 40% of us are registered independent or non-party affiliated, and we make up our mind almost always near the end of the elections,” Salguero said.

Salguero is also the pastor at The Gathering Place in Orlando.

He said the Latino vote can be determinative in swing states like Florida. But more importantly, he said, is the Latino faith vote.

“Do not underestimate the influence that faith voters have in the Latino community,” Salguero said.

He said Latino Evangelicals can go either way with their vote, and added that they tend to be socially conservative, but may be more progressive on issues like immigration and the economy.

Salguero said candidates on both sides of the aisle have been focusing on this group of voters.

“I think they’re not just acutely aware, I think they’re being hyper intentional in reaching out to Hispanic faith voters,” Salguero said.

He said which way Latino faith voters vote will be dependent on which issues are a priority to them.


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