Minorities and the midterm: What they wanted on issues, candidates

    Results from the '2018 American Election Eve Poll' were presented Tuesday, Dec. 18, at UNLV by Professor David Damore. (KSNV)<p>{/p}

    Democrats had foot soldiers in November, and activist Amanda Khan was one of them.

    She went door-to-door, talking to people who would not normally vote.

    In November, they did.

    “One of the things that really resonated with me was that they were voting for their lives, and they were voting to keep their families together,” said Khan, an organizer with PLAN Action.

    The final numbers are not out yet on the size of the minority turnout, but research presented Tuesday, Dec. 18, at UNLV gives a glimpse of what issues mattered to minorities and whom they supported.

    The numbers come from the '2018 American Election Eve Poll,' done for the group Latino Decisions. They were presented Tuesday by UNLV Professor David Damore, the chair of the school’s political science department, and unveiled at a roundtable at the Boyd Law School.

    African Americans were the strongest supporters of Nevada Democrats in November, with support in the 90 percent range.

    Latinos and Asian Americans were not far behind, which does not surprise Damore. He says the trend reflects a changing Nevada.

    “What you slowly see is the state gets much more diverse, and along with that it gets much more Democratic, and that’s what we’re seeing sort of manifest itself,” Damore says. “For a while, it seemed the Republicans were gonna sort of understand these dynamics, and Gov. Sandoval did a nice job with that, but now you have a Republican Party that is trying to sort of ignore the demographic change and running against demography, really.”

    The Latino Decisions poll showed strong support among minorities for Steve Sisolak, Jacky Rosen and Congressional Democrats.

    On issues, for Latinos, number one was the economy.

    For African Americans and Asian Americans, number one was healthcare.

    “That is something that affects families, children, individuals,” said activist Maggie Tsai, the communications manager for APIA Nevada. She was on the panel Tuesday, which also talked about what it will take to keep the 2018 voter outreach alive in 2020.

    It's not easy, says editor of The Nevada Independent, Jon Ralston.

    "The real challenge for Democrats is that there's no Senate race, there are no statewide offices. The only thing that they can get people energized about at the top of the ticket is the presidential race," Ralston says.

    In 2020, the election may feature President Donald Trump, a polarizing figure who is unpopular with local Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans, according to the Latino Decision numbers.

    That may be enough to get people to vote, again.

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