Lacking a diverse field but needing a diverse electorate has forced Democrats to build their outreach efforts. The growing Latino electorate has led to a seemingly unprecedented amount of Latino staffing appointments and key Latino endorsements. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have hired a cadre of Latino staffers, organizers, directors, and volunteers.
While the Republican field of presidential candidates is soon to be whittled down after the New Hampshire primary, the Democratic race now only features Clinton and Sanders. Martin O’Malley dropped out of the presidential race after running a hard-fought, policy-driven campaign that never caught on with voters. Jorge Rivas, the national correspondent at Fusion, declared that he was “the most progressive candidate in history on immigration,” after O’Malley’s withdrawal. I wrote on O’Malley’s pro-Latino policies that fell on deaf ears as well. O’Malley’s exit means that Latino issues may receive less attention in subsequent debates—the February 4, 2016 debate had no discussion of race or immigration—but that does not mean Latinos will figure less in the campaigns, especially given the demographics of the coming Nevada caucuses.