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National Council of La Raza Kicks Off $5M Hispanic Voter Register Drive With Eyes On 2014 Elections

by: Omar Araiza

Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 00:00 PM CST

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation's largest Hispanic group, is working with Mi Familia Vota to kick off a huge $5 million dollar voter register drive with a grand goal of registering a quarter of a million new Hispanic voters by the midterm elections.

A larger and stronger Latino voting block could become a nightmare for Republicans opposed to immigration reform. Democrats, who have been pushing for reform since early last year, could potentially reap virtually all the benefits of these new voters and push ahead of Republicans in November.

"The Republicans have a great deal to gain in terms of brand improvement and in terms of essentially demobilizing virulent opposition built around the supposition that they are the impediment to immigration reform," said David Segura, co-founder of the polling firm Latino Decisions.

Read more below the jump.

The organizations will be mailing voter registration materials to over 2.5 million eligible Latino voters in heavily Hispanic populated states, many Red States, including: Texas, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Arizona.

First Lady Michelle Obama was a keynote speaker at the NCLR last year
The two Hispanic groups already began their registration efforts in California and Florida, and will expand these once the other major voter registration drives begin.

The NCLR and Mi Familia Vota are making their voter registration efforts largely known, expecting a reaction from the House to act on immigration reform, especially between Republicans.

"We expect that the House of Representatives also gets the message and do their jobs, or else our community in November is going to go out to vote con más ganas," said Ben Monterosso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota. Menterosso believes Hispanics want "to make sure that our interests are being taken care of."

Republicans will reopen talks on immigration reform next week after members attend their annual retreat.

According to a recent Pew Research study, Hispanics share a much stronger bond with Democrats than Republicans. Only 39 percent of Latinos said Republicans care "some" or "a lot" about their community's needs, while 72 percent of Hispanics said the same of Democrats.

But in order to truly foster this bond in the future, Democrats are going to have to put up a stronger fight against Republicans and deliver on their promises.

"I think it's clear that Democrats need to demonstrate that they can actually deliver on promises made, and that it's clear that voters need something to vote for, not just something to vote against," said Clarissa Martínez de Castro, NCLR's director of immigration and civic engagement.

For now, taking another swing at the GOP might just be what Latinos need to do in order to make sure Republicans understand 2012 was not a fluke, and that Latinos will continue to vote against the GOP for as long as Republicans stand against Latinos.  

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