Decoding the swing vote that can decide this close election
For the first time in the history of Philadelphia, the subject of the Latino Vote will be at the center of public discussion in our city.
Hosted by AL DÍA News Media, in collaboration of a major mainstream media outlet, in this case the Philadelphia Magazine, and their widely-read political blog Citified, with the endorsement of the Committee of 70.
I wish I could talk to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, and even Donald Trump, and explain to them the overlooked importance of this elephant in the room of the current election. Perhaps even to invite them, or their staff of advisers, to attend the Latino Vote Town Hall, Presidential Election 2016, we will be hosting April 13, at the HUB in Commerce Square, in Center City Philadelphia.
To engage the Latino vote — the swing vote that can decide this close election in both parties — is no longer a matter of expressing sympathy for an emerging segment of the population and growing margin of voters.
It may as well be the secret weapon for an enlightened candidate to achieve that final victory, either in the upcoming primaries in New York and Pennsylvania, or in the general election in November, which will bring a new leader to the White House in January.
Villanova University’s basketball team, coincidentally, became national champion last week by scoring those final points in the agony of the last second. What a thriller!
The November 2016 election can, in similar fashion in such a contested race we are all witnessing, go down to the wire in fierce dispute for the last delegate and the last vote. Obviously no candidate seems now to have the commanding lead to rest assured of a victory in the matches coming up, and the final supermatch in November.
Each day you turn the election media newstream you only see the campaigns trying everything to gain the edge, and even the favorites suffering surprising setbacks like the recent ones in the state of Wisconsin, where both Hillary and Trump lost to their challengers.
Up next is New York and Pennsylvania. This is no different and everything is up for grabs.
Because we wanted to contribute to the sound debate for the current campaign, AL DÍA News sent over two months ago —very well in advance, and in the most formal and respectful manner— letters of invitation for all the candidates (at the time almost a dozen) to come individually to our Editorial Roundtable on Market Street, in Center City Philadelphia, within the American newspaper pre-election ritual of interviewing in depth before a potential endorsement right before the election.
The primary in Pennsylvania is April 26, so we started the follow up early for the past eight 8 weeks, with such a diligence that some of the campaigns said “please, no más”. They never said “yes”, but they haven’t said “no” either.
As of today, April 8th, there has been a lack of final response that make me wonder if this is the result of the fact that our media organization is irrelevant to these five candidates standing, or the segment of voters we reach and represent is as well inconsequential — or both.
We want to talk to the candidates, in the civil manner the Philadelphia Inquirer hosted one this week, and engage them in a meaningful conversation, in a manner voters in our State can understand better where each of them, be Republican or Democrat, stand, particularly on the fundamental issues that keep Latino voters rolling over in their beds because no journalist in America granted access to the candidates has managed yet to articulate.
The Editorial Board of AL DÍA, which makes up the panel ready to interview the candidates, is made up of elders of our community, like Reverend Luis Cortes, former Judge Nelson Nelson Díaz, School Reform Commissioner Farah Jiménez, in addition to our three editors, Sabrina Vourvoulias, Max Marin and Ana Gamboa.
All of them, like me, professionals journalists recognized multiple times by our peers in the industry, and no one less capable than those veterans who sat with a Democratic candidate at the Philadelphia Inquirer this week, on the other side of Market Street.
We, American Journalists of Latino descent, only hope Bernie, Hillary, Ted, John, and even the Donald, don’t give us the cold shoulder in this already cold month of April, on the eve of the Primary Election in our state.