Report: Record number of Latinos eligible to vote
October 1st, 2012
02:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Report: Record number of Latinos eligible to vote

(CNN) – More Latinos will be eligible to vote in November's election than at any other time in American history, but getting them to the polls will provide campaigns a challenge, according to a report released Monday.

The Pew Hispanic Center report indicated 23.7 million Latinos are eligible to vote November 6, meaning they are U.S. citizens over the age of 18. That's an increase of 22% since 2008, when there were 19.5 million Latinos in America who met the country's voting requirements.

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While both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have aggressively courted Latino voters, the turnout rate for the group in 2008 – 50% - was lower than that of black voters (65%) and white voters (66%).

And the decrease in voter registration between the 2008 election and the 2010 for Latinos was sharp – 600,000 fewer Latinos registered to vote in the midterm elections than they did for the presidential contest two years earlier.

The Pew report suggests two factors that could have led to the decrease over two years: reduced enthusiasm for a non-presidential election, and an economic downturn that has displaced many Latinos (and subsequently caused their voter registration to lapse).

Whether or not the downward trend from 2010 continues this year remains to be seen, since national data on voter registration isn't available until after the election.

However, four individual states that have published information on voter sign-ups show an increase in Latino registration since 2008. In Florida, a key battleground with 29 electoral votes at stake, 1.6 million Latinos had registered to vote by the middle of July, an increase over the 1.4 million Latinos who registered to vote in the Sunshine State in 2008.

North Carolina, another battleground, also reports an increase in Latino registered voters since 2008 – 102,000, compared to 68,000 who registered four years ago.

Pew noted that Latino voter registration increases in North Carolina and Florida may also be attributable to spikes in the overall Latino populations of both states, which in each has come close to doubling in the past decade.

In total, 17% of eligible Latino voters live in the nine states considered "toss ups" on CNN's Electoral Map – meaning that most potential Latino voters live in states that are either solid or leaning for either Romney or Obama. The Pew report indicated that 55% of eligible Latino voters live in California, Texas or New York – states which consistently vote Republican or Democratic in presidential elections.

And Latino voters are younger than other groups – 32% of eligible Latinos are between the ages of 18 and 29, compared to 19% of white voters and 25% of black voters. One quarter are naturalized citizens, also higher than other groups.

Both Romney and Obama are campaigning heavily for Latino voters, including participating in Univision forums last month and speaking at events sponsored by Latino groups. A Gallup poll conducted partially before and partially after the Republican National Convention at the end of August said Obama leads Romney among Latino registered voters 64% to 27%.


Filed under: 2012 • Latinos • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. ghostriter

    Don't worry. Republicans are doing their very best to make sure these eligible voters are discouraged.

    October 1, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. 1twinsfan

    Time for the illegal comments to start despite the fact the article says the eligible Latinos are US citizens over the age of 18.

    October 1, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. truth hurts

    Gee.... I wonder where such a huge increase in the latino community could have come from in such a short time??? And I am 120% positive they are ALL legal voters too. Wake up America. Your country is being invaded.

    October 1, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. chilly g

    i have one word to said to latinos voters,if mitt win ths election he will make it hard for liotinos to become citizens,
    and he will not support the dream act, he want latinos to self depot out of the country and he also support the
    hate laws the teapot want for latinos. vote for the president, do it for your childrens and for the childrens to come.

    October 1, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    well since it seems they won't self-deport then they'll be voting a Democratic ticket.....except for the Florida Cuban Americans that for some reason always vote Republican.

    October 1, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Romney Said Let Them Eat Cake

    @truth hurts: yes our country is being invaded by idiots like you. This country is changing for the better. We are on our way to having a Female President and a Latino President,

    October 1, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Just because a person doesn't look like you doesn't mean they aren't Americans, they're probably immigrants just like you.

    October 1, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. truth hurts

    Romney Said Let Them Eat Cake
    @truth hurts: yes our country is being invaded by idiots like you. This country is changing for the better. We are on our way to having a Female President and a Latino President,
    ============================================================================================
    You mean people like me that have paid all the bills for the rest of you tax free riders?! But I agree, Marco Rubio WILL make a great President. Hillary Clinton?? hahaha.... her time has come and gone. And now she hs the stench of Obama on her, and the responsibility for a dead ambassador.

    October 1, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. NOTADEMOCRAT

    $6 Trillion dollars added to our childrens debt in the last 4 yrs alone.
    $10 Trillion dollars added to our childrens debt since the deomcrats took control of congess in 2006.
    Welcome to America's progressively dumbed down future.

    October 1, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. California democrat

    Why are the democrats giving away this country? This angers me.

    October 1, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. California democrat

    Remember one illegal voting negates your vote.

    October 1, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. ghostriter

    truthhurts, I know you have a thing against hispanics. But it's OK. We hold your questionable views against you. Well, not anymore than we already do.

    October 1, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. NOTADEMOCRAT

    Obama has expressed concern about the growing wealth disparities in America.
    But one of the main causes of those disparities is the huge surge of low-wage immigration. These newcomers are three times as likely to lack a high-school diploma. 50% more likely to be poor than the native-born. And data shows that even the great-grandchildren of low-skill Latino immigrants continue to struggle in the high-tech economy.
    Obama's immigration proposals call for granting illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, creating incentives for more illegal entry in the future and continuing family reunification policies that will maintain our present low-skill immigration intake for years and decades to come. Quite the oppisite of Obama's promise to strengthen the American middle class.

    October 1, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Howard

    COME TO AMERICA AND TAX PAYERS WILL FEED YOU.
    Under Obama administration partnership with Mexico,
    number of non-citizens in US using food stamps and similar programs has more than doubled.

    October 1, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. Wake up people!

    Well I guess we really find out who is committing voter fraud. It's not the dems. How funny is this??? The republican party has been screaming for the past year about Latino illegals voting. Investigation begins, no illegal Latino voting but WIDESPREAD attempts at voter suppression among the GOP in a blatant attempt to do the same thing they pulled in 2000 and 2004. Why is THIS not at the top of the ticker? No we have some bs story about Chavez.

    OBAMA 2012!

    October 1, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. FedUp

    Legal or illegal?

    October 1, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    So, we are expected to believe, that the Hispanic LEGAL population is increasing by about 1 million people per year?

    Somehow, I question that, and wonder how many illegal immigrants are going to be ALLOWED to vote in this election!

    October 1, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Legal or illegal?"

    Racist or bigot?

    October 1, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. ghostriter

    So, instead of putting together outreach programs aimed at getting hispanics to support republicans, conservatives would rather impede their ability to vote. Makes sense.

    notademocrat, Marco Rubio supports the same type of immigration reform Obama proposed. Romney supports Rubio's immigration reform. Therefore, Romney supports Obama's immigration reform. He just doesn't know it yet. And you do know Rubio is an anchor baby......right?

    And what's with this "creating incentives for more illegal entry"? We already have that incentive. It's called America. Those low wage earners here can send 1/4 of their paychecks home and live like kings. They don't need much more encouragement than that.

    The Dream Act, which allows for those brought here as children attending college or in the military can be granted citizenship. Many republicans have signed on to the same plan, especially for those in the military. I know it's hard to understand, but to sum it and the past 4 years up: If Obama is for it, republicans have to be against it.....even if it is their own ideas.

    October 1, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. Gurgyl

    My Latinos, go in groups with id and vote for Obama and straight dem ticket. God bless us all...

    October 1, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "Why are the democrats giving away this country?"

    These are LEGAL voters who were born citizens or became citizens LEGALLY. What don'tyou understand about that? Your comment and others just prove that (a) I've been right for the past 4 years blaming the GOP/Teatrolls freekout on the "browning" of America and (b) you guys really and truly are simply racists who belieev "this is supposed to be a white people country" and who see more brown people around you than when you were growing up, so your denial kicks in and you invent that they all or a substantial number of them are illegal and shouldn't be voting. Reality is, at core, you simply think brown people shouldn't be voting at all unless there's too few of them to affect the elections, in which case it's "safe." Hint: only the stupidest of the stupid didn't know exactly what you meant when you guys were ranting "take the country back."

    October 1, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. 2020

    Good for you, VOTE!!!

    October 1, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    GOP/Teatrolls' very VERY worst nightmare: "for English, press TWO"

    October 1, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. Guest

    If you want to get technical, whites are immigrants also, this country belonged to the natives until the white man came over here and did what they do best. Take over and pulled off the largest armed robbery in history. Stole an entire country, killed most of the natives and the few that are left have been regulated to certain areas in their own country. That's an invasion.

    October 1, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. 2020

    illegal? that tell how small your brain is, if there is one at all.

    October 1, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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