In an election season that already has bucked conventional political wisdom, there is one key element that political strategists can continue to count on: The Latino electorate continues to grow and is too big to ignore.
This year, heated gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races are in play in eight states where Latinos make up at least 10 percent of voters: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and Texas, plus Connecticut and Illinois, which also have growing Latino electorates. The strength of the Latino voter turnout is also primed to determine the outcome in 17 of the toughest races for seats in the House of Representatives.
What is the future of the Latino vote? How will the major political parties adjust their messaging and outreach to capture the support of this influential segment of the electorate? How will they appeal to the Spanish-dominant voters who already have proven to be independent voters?
These and other questions will be posed to top Latino leaders and campaign veterans who have watched and analyzed the exponential growth of Latino voters for decades. Together, they will analyze the Latino vote for 2010 and beyond, discuss the immigration issue as it uniquely concerns the Latino community, and explain why Democrats should not take Latino voters for granted and why Republicans should not ignore them.