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Iowa GOP Tries To Seek Support From Latino Voters

Two voting envelopes are on a table. One has a blue face mask on top of it and the other has a red one.
Tiffany Tertipes
13.3 percent of all eligible voters in the 2020 election will be Latino. Both major parties want to win them over.

The Republican Party of Iowa says it’s trying to earn the vote from people of all races and ethnicities, especially now that voting has begun.

COVID-19 initially posed a problem to the Iowa GOP because its plan to reach voters was all about starting a face-to-face conversation. Now, they use a safer approach speaking mask-to-mask at a six-foot distance. The communications director for the Republican Party of Iowa, Aaron Britt, said many times, earning the support from Latino voters requires the same effort as earning the support of anyone else. Like asking them what they want from the party and presenting a plan for how that goal will be implemented.

“What we were trying to do is, you know, is get our message out there that, you know, the things that we were able to accomplish the past four years have benefited the Latino community and just all communities," Britt said.

Britt said telling Latino voters about policies the party thinks are strong will be the final step in securing their votes. Britt said the Iowa GOP acknowledges cultural differences in the "melting pot" of the United States, but the overall policies of the party are the most important aspect for voters, no matter their background.

“Obviously, identity is important in certain respects, and culture is very important. But when it comes down to it, you know, when it comes down to the issues, obviously, everybody has issues that are more important to them," Britt said.

Britt said he has heard many Latino voters have the same concerns as others, like the job market. He said all people want to have happy lives and well-paying jobs, so that wasn't a big surprise.

Democrats in Iowa are also aggressively courting Latino voters. Britt said although some may think all Latinos vote a certain way, the stereotype being they would all vote blue, he hasn't found that statistic to be true. According to the Pew Research Center, most Cuban Americans identify as Republican. This is why, Britt said, the campaigning strategies target every voting bloc equally. He said the party's minority outreach task force has been using the same face-to-face conversation tactics as other grassroots efforts.

Kassidy was a reporter based in Des Moines