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Latino Voters Feel Ignored by Major Candidates

In 2018, Minnesota led the nation in voter turnout, but Latino advocates say there's still a racial gap in participation. They say that could be in part because Latinos often feel ignored by candidates. (Adobe Stock)
In 2018, Minnesota led the nation in voter turnout, but Latino advocates say there's still a racial gap in participation. They say that could be in part because Latinos often feel ignored by candidates. (Adobe Stock)
March 3, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS -- As voters head to the polls today in Minnesota and 13 other states, advocates for Latino voters say they don't feel major presidential candidates engage enough with their communities.

In recent months, some national Latino groups didn't receive any feedback from certain candidates when submitting surveys or trying to schedule meetings. Francisco Segovia runs an outreach group in the Twin Cities and said after trying to get more Latinos to participate in elections, he has found it often isn't a priority for them because they feel ignored.

"I realized that I wasn't alone, that oftentimes, people running for office are not connecting with our communities," Segovia said.

He said while it may take some time for his demographic to become convinced to participate in elections, that doesn't mean major candidates should avoid them.

According to the Pew Research Center, 32 million Latinos could be eligible to vote this fall. The report said that would be a record, and would exceed the number of eligible black voters for the first time.

Segovia said in the political world, there's also the belief that Latinos only care about immigration issues. But he says that's not the case.

"Immigration is key for us, but it's not the only issue," he said. "We care about health care, access to education and other things."

The same Pew Research Center survey found more than 70% of Latinos favored the government playing a larger role in providing health care. A majority also said they support stricter gun laws.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - MN