The Hispanic vote on November 8

Pew Research estimates an increase since 2012 of 4 million Hispanics eligible to vote, or 17%, rising to 27.3 million. Between 2008 and 2012 Hispanic voters increased by15%. Among some top contested states, Hispanics comprise 18.1% of eligible voters in Florida; 172.% in Nevada; and 14.5% in Colorado.  (Also, go here.)

The electoral impact of the Hispanic community in America, about 57 million or 18% of the total population, is less per person because of demographics of eligibility and a lower voter turnout rates. The relative youthfulness (fewer voters) of recently newly eligible Hispanic voters suggests this lagging pattern will continue on November 8.

Were the Hispanic population to match the white population in eligibility and voting behavior, there would be 29 million Hispanic voters on November instead of a projected 13.1 million, a more than doubling. Thus, one could say that one Hispanic resident equals about 45% of a non-Hispanic white resident at the polling booth.

Demographically, due to a higher portion of children and the non-citizen status, the Hispanic population has less engagement with voting. Pew says, “Latinos tend to “punch below their weight” in elections because more than half (52%) of the national Latino population is either too young to vote or does not hold U.S. citizenship. By comparison, just 20% of the nation’s white population is not eligible to vote for the same reasons, as is 28% of the black population and 44% of the Asian population.”

Eligible Hispanics voters are younger than other eligible voters – 44% or millennials (born since the early 1980s) compared with 27% of white eligibles. In addition to these 3.2 million newly eligible millennials are 1.2 million older Hispanics immigrants who took out citizenship since 2012 and 130,000 Porto Ricans who since 2012 have migrated to Florida.

An estimated 11.2 million Hispanics voted in 2012, a voting rate of 48%. With the same voting rate, 13.1 million will vote on November 8.

The voting rate among Latinos is lowest among millennials and those primarily speaking Spanish. For all eligible American voters, the voting rate was 61.8% in 2012; for Hispanics, 48%; and among Hispanic millennials, 37.8%.

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