Luchadores Are Coming for You

Latino wrestling stars register voters

Friday, Oct 17, 2008  |  Updated 8:49 AM PDT
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Luchadores Are Coming for You

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Spectators wearing Luchador Mexican wrestler masks wait for a wrestling event to start in a local arena.

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Luchadores Are Coming for You

A word of advice: if a Luchador asks you to register to vote, register to vote.
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A word of advice: if a Luchador asks you to register to vote, register to vote. Experts predict a 23 percent surge in Latino voters this Presidential election compared to 2004.And that surge is attributed to grassroots groups who are pounding the pavement and the Internet.

A San Jose grassroots advocacy group called Somo Mayfair is using the Luchador, an icon of Latino culture, in YouTube clips to get people out to vote.

"We wanna keep on pushing forward the power of the Latino vote," said Jaime Alvarado, of Somo Mayfair. "So the number of people who register turn out to vote."

The Luchadores are also hitting up shopping centers and Latino hot spots.

Evangelina Nevarez dropped the wrestling mask and used a more traditional approach to register five people in two hours.

"We're just making sure in our neighborhood people do have a voice," she said.

A USC research center predicts grassroots groups, such as Somos Mayfair, will register one million new Latino voters during the summer and fall. 
  
And the candidates seem to be taking notice.

Recently Sen. John McCain spoke for a second time to Latino voters on the Telemundo network.

Jesus Cobarruvias teaches Mexican American history at San Jose State University.

He said McCain or Sen. Barack Obama could themselves be history, if they ignore the growing clout of Latinos.

The southwest voter registration project estimates there are some seven to eight million Latino adults, who are still, not registered.

And groups, such as Somos Mayfair, are trying to get to all of them. 

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