It is entirely possible that Latinos, with their numbers around 57 million in the U.S., will decide the presidential election. A headline in Tuesday’s New York Times trumpeted, “The Hispanic Voter Surge Was a Myth in 2012. But Not This Time.” News networks -- and those who cater to a Hispanic audience in particular -- are paying intensely close attention to the Latino vote’s impact on Trump-Clinton 2016.
Jose Diaz-Balart (pictured), anchor at Telemundo News, suggests that what the English-language media sees as a recent phenomenon has been a real factor for much longer. Tenacious voter registration campaigns, alongside continued immigration gains, have elevated the Hispanic community to a full-on force in the U.S. electorate. A polarizing candidate such as GOP standard-bearer Donald Trump has given the Hispanic community, itself broad and diverse, a singular focus, say election watchers.