A new study by the Center for American Progress found there are 12.1 million unregistered, but potentially eligible, Latino adults in the United States.
Experts agree that these numbers are crucial in shaping the results of the 2012 Presidential election and that consistently red states could become swing states or turn blue.
“If just a portion of potential voters do come out and vote they could swing the election,” said Philip Wolgin, Immigration Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress. “And while I don’t think that Texas is going to become a swing state tomorrow, I also don’t think that four years ago anyone thought that Arizona would be either.”
Clarissa Martinez, the Director of Civic Engagement and Immigration at the National Council of La Raza, says potential Latino voters care deeply about immigration issues, jobs, education and health care.
In a national poll of Latino voters to be released by Latino Decisions, the Center for American Progress Action Fund and America’s Voice, two-thirds of respondents stated that they opposed the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the racial profiling provision of Arizona’s SB 1070, with only 29% supporting it.
“When we talk about electoral expansion, you really are talking about sweeping changes to the nation’s political calculus, there’s no doubt,” said Martinez.