There is no question the Hispanic population is the fastest voting bloc in the nation. However, U.S. Census Bureau numbers provide a slightly different picture of the Latino voter- the sought-after bloc only represents 4 percent of the vote in most swing states.
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), an immigration think tank, pooled all the Census Bureau data to formulate a composite of the Hispanic voter. CIS concluded that Latino voters represent 8.9 percent of the 2012 voting electorate, up 1.5 percent in 2008. Surprisingly, the Hispanic voters only represent about 4 percent of the vote in the important swing states.
“While Hispanic voters are a small share of the electorate, in a close election they could decide the outcome,” explained Steve Camarota, CIS director of research. “Of course, the same is true of many other voting blocs, such as veterans or senior citizens. It would a mistake to overemphasize race to the exclusion of other factors.”
With the presidential race in a dead heat, the GOP’s immigration platform may not boost their standing inside the illegal immigration population.
This week at the Republican convention, leaders unveiled a tough illegal immigration platform that includes a call to end all sanctuary cities, finish building the southwest border fence and mandate all businesses to use E-Verify.
That being said, just how many Hispanic voters does Presidential-hopeful, Mitt Romney, really need? The CIS comprehensive study provides a snapshot of the Latino voter.
National share of the Hispanic vote:
- We project that in November 2012 Hispanics will comprise 17.2 percent of the total U.S. population, 15 percent of adults, 11.2 percent of adult citizens, and 8.9 percent of actual voters.
- In 2012, non-Hispanic whites are expected to be 73.4 percent of the national vote and non-Hispanic blacks are expected to be 12.2 percent.
- To place the Hispanic share of the electorate into perspective, eight percentage points of the Hispanic vote nationally equals slightly less than one percentage point of the non-Hispanic white vote.
- The 8.9 percent Hispanic share of voters compares to veterans (12 percent), those with family incomes above $100,000 (18 percent), seniors 65 and older (19 percent), married persons (60 percent), and those who live in owner-occupied housing (80 percent).
- In terms of voter turnout, we project that 52.7 percent (± 0.6) of eligible Hispanics will vote in the upcoming election, an increase from 49.9 percent in 2008 and a continuation of the past decade’s long upward trend.
- The projected Hispanic voter participation rate of 52.7 percent compares to 66.1 percent for non-Hispanic whites and 65.2 percent for non-Hispanic blacks in 2008.
Share in Battleground States:
- In the seven states listed by The Cook Political Report in July as “toss-ups”, we project that Hispanics will average 8.0 percent of voters in 2012, compared to 8.9 percent nationally. The seven toss-up states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia.
- In the four states listed by Cook as “leaning” toward one party or the other, the Hispanic vote will average 2.8 percent of the electorate in November. The four leaning states are Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.
- In the seven states Cook identifies as “likely” for one party or the other, Hispanics will average 9.8 percent of the vote. Excluding New Mexico, they will average 4.4 percent of voters in the remaining six “likely” states. The likely states are Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Maine, Minnesota, and New Mexico.
- Taken together Hispanics will average 7.6 percent of the electorate across the “toss-up”, “leaning”, and “likely” states. If we combine the populations of these states and calculate the Hispanic share of the electorate, Hispanics are projected to be 6.6 percent of the vote.
- The Hispanic share of voters varies significantly in the 18 battleground states. In 12 of the 18 states, Hispanics are projected to be less than 4 percent of the electorate (Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, and Maine). But in four of the states (New Mexico, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona), Hispanics will be more than 16 percent of the vote.
- Non-Hispanic whites are projected to be slightly overrepresented (79.4 percent) in battleground states relative to their share of the national electorate. Like Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks (9.4 percent) tend to be slightly underrepresented in battleground states.
While the number of Hispanic voters in the swing states represents a much lower number than most politicos report, in a close race they can tip the scales in favor of Democrats.
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