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Latino Voters Could Be A Major Force In This Election

A California primary voter shows the Spanish language I Voted sticker outside a polling station June 7, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Bill Wechter/AFP via Getty Images)
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Latino voting power is on the rise in California, a fact that could have national implications, with the potential to sway political fortunes in six congressional districts.

That's what happened in the 21st District in Central California: Latinos cast almost half the votes there during the 2018 midterm and played a big part in flipping it blue. It was a tight contest, but Democrat T.J. Cox eked out enough votes to unseat longtime GOP incumbent David Valadao.

Still, Latino voter turnout continues to be among the lowest in the state. That's something outreach organizations hope to fix. Luis Sanchez, executive director of Power California, says his organization is part of a broader effort to energize Latino voters across the state:

"Candidates, campaigns, parties haven't historically focused on people of color as a majority group, even though now they make up not only the majority of the state, but in terms of the Latinx voters, they make up the plurality of anyone now under the age of 34."

Together, the get-out-the-vote coalition hopes to reach more than 500,000 eligible voters by the
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March 3 primary.