This is a smart decision by the Clinton campaign. Latino Decisions is the gold standard for polling Latinos, whose support will be critical if she hopes to secure the Democratic nomination and the Presidency.
The following is by Stephen A. Nuño:
The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign has hired Latino-owned firm Latino Decisions to join the campaign’s polling team, sources told NBC News Latino Wednesday.
The hiring of Latino Decisions brings aboard significant knowledge to the campaign about Latino voters that will continue to build up the outreach efforts of the Clinton campaign into the Latino community.
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to emails and a call about the hiring.
The Clinton campaign has gone on an unprecedented hiring spree of Latino outreach specialists, such as Amanda Renteria, their National Political Director, and Lorella Praeli, the campaign’s Latino Outreach Director.
The firm’s co-Principles, Matt Barreto and Gary Segura, bring with them a significant amount of academic heft to their polling operation. Barreto is a professor of political science and Chicano Studies at UCLA and Segura is a professor of political science at Stanford University.
Michael Jones-Correa, a professor of political science at Cornell, welcomed the news about Latino Decisions as a step forward for the Clinton team.
“LD provides essential policy relevant public opinion on Latinos in the US today, reflecting the very highest standards and best practices in the public opinion field,” said Jones-Correa.
The addition of a Latino-owned firm to the campaign comes after findings in a study by PowerPAC+ reported by NBC News which highlighted the significantly small number of minority firms hired by Democrats to work on their campaigns as paid consultants. Even though the vast majority of Latinos and African Americans vote for Democrats, about 98 percent of of the $514 million spent by the three national Democratic Party committees in 2012 went to non-minority consultants.
Much of the advocacy work by Latino Decisions has been with groups with deep ties within the Latino community, such as America’s Voice and National Council of La Raza.
Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America’s Voice, has praised the work of Barreto and Segura.
“Latino Decisions has developed a methodologically-sound, data-driven approach to polling Latino voters. Given that the road to the White House cuts through the Latino community, the Clinton campaign is fortunate – and smart – to have them on board,” said Sharry.