Tuesday, April 23, 2024

New Report Highlights Growing Strength of Latino Electorate

A report released Monday by America’s Voice, an immigration reform advocacy group, highlights the increasing importance of the Latino vote. The report outlines 40 specific midterm elections where Latinos could have a significant impact on the the result.

“Most politicians understand the importance of the Latino vote in presidential years, but what we’re saying is that Latino voters will have a huge impact in the mid-term elections,” Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, said on a conference call with reporters Monday. “The number of voters coming of age and registering continues to grow. You have seen growth even when a presidential race isn’t at the top of the ticket.”

According to the report, nearly 20 percent of congressional districts that will hold elections during the upcoming midterm cycle have a Latino population of at least 25 percent. And Latinos are also the fastest growing segment of the electorate in the United States. From 2000 to 2008, Latino voter registration increased 54 percent, and Latino voter turnout increased 64 percent.

The report argues that the way in which parties handle their midterm congressional elections can influence Latino voters in presidential election years. While the GOP’s image has been tarnished in the eyes of Latinos because of their position in the immigration debate, Democrats will also be under continued pressure to meet expectations and promises made to the Latino community in campaigns past. Latinos are most concerned about the economy and jobs; but according to Janet Murguia of the National Council of La Raza, a candidate’s stance on immigration reform has become an issue of baseline respect for many Latino voters.

Washington Post