RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas- The state of Texas was being considered a swing state, and all eyes were on the Latino vote here in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Comparing the 2016 election to the midterm election in 2018 we saw that there was a large portion of the Hispanic population registering to vote,” said Dr. Natasha Altema McNeely, UTRGV Associate Professor in Political Science.

McNeely said the Rio Grande Valley Latino demographic has a large presence which is why many thought Texas would turn blue.

“Hispanics are viewed as the largest growing minority group here in the united states they’re going to be the majority minority within a decade if not sooner,” she said.

With the Latino voter turnout being high, Dr. McNeely said even with political candidates focusing on the issues most important to the community, it was still not enough to get every Latino to vote. 

“The Democrats and the Republicans are paying attention and seem to be trying to mobilize Hispanics but it’s arguably not enough,” said McNeely.

While the existing research on how the Latino community votes, McNeely said they typically lean blue, but she said that is not always the case.

“I think it’s also important to note that there is a large part of the Hispanic community that also supports the republican party,” she said.

With around 50% of Latinos showing up to the polls, McNeely said more needs to be done to get more Latinos to vote no matter what party they are associated with.

“There has to be some more groundwork here in the valley to get people out to get them to vote to get them to participate in any form,” she said.

McNeely adds there are many ways Latino’s can continue to get involved in the election process, including volunteering for candidates and informing the public.