The Growing Latino Electorate, A Political Opportunity

The Washington Post’s The Fix takes a look at a new Pew Hispanic Center survey and growth and power of Latino voters. The number of Hispanic eligible voters has increased in the last decade from 13.2 million in 2000 to 21.3 million in 2010, and will continue to be an important swing voting block.

The report, and the WP article, highlight that while the Hispanic electorate has grown, they have yet to exercise their full political muscle. This is an opportunity for both political parties, but especially for Republicans. Democrats have worked hard to capture the Hispanic electorate. Yet, while the Democrats try it all to woo Latinos, the group refuses to fully commit to Democrats, or any political party. History, and the 2010 election, has shown that Republicans have an opportunity to gain support with Hispanic voters — when the party intelligently engages and communicates their message.

The question remains, will Republicans again squander the opportunity in 2012 by listening to people who don’t understand the Hispanic community? or will they implement a real Latino outreach and messaging strategy?

Read the piece:

The Fix: Latino turnout squanders chance at being key voting bloc

By Aaron Blake and Rachel Weiner

Latinos are growing faster than any other major population group in the United States, but they still aren’t a major factor in U.S. elections. At least, yet.

A new Pew Hispanic Center survey shows that in 2010, even though 16.3 percent of the country’s population was Latino, just 7 percent of voters were.This is largely, of course, because of the large amounts of Latinos who are under 18 (35 percent, according to the survey) and who aren’t citizens (22 percent). But even among those who are eligible to vote, Latinos lag far behind.

A full 44 percent of Latinos voted Republican in the 2004 election. That figure dropped to about 30 percent in both 2006 and 2008 — two big Democratic years — before rising back to 38 percent in 2010…

The Latino population is very young, even among eligible voters. Nearly one-third of Latino eligible voters are under 30 — typically the age group that votes the least.And another 600,000 Latinos turn 18 every year, adding rapidly to the 21.3 million eligible Latino voters…”

Some numbers from the Pew Hispanic Center, (after the jump) 

Latinos in 2010 Midterm Election:

  • 16.3% of the nation’s population
  • 10.1% of eligible voters
  • 7% of actual voters (6.6 million)

Breakdown- Hispanic Voter Turnout 2010:

  • 50.3% – Latinos college graduates
  • 17.6% – Latino Youth Vote, between  ages 18 to 29
  • 37.4% – Latinos over 30 year
  • 36.6% – Naturalized Foreign-Born Latinos
  • 29.2% – Native Born Latinos

All Hispanics in 2010

  • 42.7% eligible to vote (over 18 and U.S. citizen)
  • 34.9% under voting age of 18 (not eligible)
  • 22.4% not U.S. citizens (not eligible)

America’s Youth Vote (Ages 18-29):

  • 31.3% of Latino eligible voters
  • 19.2% of white eligible voters
  • 25.6% of black eligible voters
  • 20.7% of Asian eligible voters were under 30.
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