Report: Record number of Latinos eligible to vote
October 1st, 2012
02:30 PM ET
10 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. 2020

    Howard, you've been on welfare for too long, lost your brain.

    October 1, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. ghostriter

    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!"

    Another genius. So these folks would risk a $1000 fine, 1-2 years in jail, not to mention deportation, to cast ONE vote in an election.

    Conservatives......when stupid just isn't enough.......

    October 1, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Romney Said Let Them Eat Cake

    @truth hurts: I have a 6 figure income, 401k and a pension. I pay my share of taxes and then some. But unlike you I face reality and know that not all hardworking people are blessed as I am. I don't sit around putting the less fortunate down and don't mind helping others. Your comments are so angry and bitter and you are way too wound up. It's ok because what I love about our country is freedom of speech.

    October 1, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    @ truth hurts
    why do you hate Obama?

    October 1, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. sithlord1

    In washington state you don't need an immigration card to get your i.d. and to vote, what do you know, its a democrat state full of illegal voters.

    October 1, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Hey, GOPers/Teatrolls, guess what? A substantial reason that minorities in America are reproducing faster than white people is beacuse of YOUR economic policies redistributing all the wealth upwards and killng the middle-class....which was mostly white people. Someone had to say it, beause the MSM is too chickensh-t to tell you the ugly truth. You've hosed so many of your own sons and daughters with your nonsense and the culture of greed and avarice it promotes. When they graduate college, they have to face employers who want to pay mere subsistence wages, who want nothing more than to stick it to your children with never-increasing salaries and crap benefits even while their blood, sweat and tears are causing profits to rise for said employer, so your sons and daughters aren't getting married or are getting married much later and not having as many children. You want your "country back"? Give up the ghost on your failed economic ideology, recognize the wretched culture of plutocracy it fosters and accept that a healthy, growing, money-making middle class that creates lots of demand is the ONLY way forward.

    October 1, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. mtatom

    Sounds like a whole lot of "anchor babies" have come of age. Those that have made this country the greatest in the world are slowly being overrun do to the very policies that they put in place. The freedoms that we "fought" for are being "stolen" from us. Who would have ever guessed that so many millions of illegal aliens could have their way in U.S.?

    October 1, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. truth hurts

    >ghostriter - So these folks would risk a $1000 fine, 1-2 years in jail, not to mention deportation, to cast ONE vote in an election.

    And we all know that Eric Holder is going to be prosecuting Obama supporters for voting illegally after they let the New Black Panthers walk away scott free after walking around the door of a polling place with a billy club. hahahahaha.... Obama and Holder only use the laws to harrass states that ar etruly upholding the laws of this nation. They have no interest whatsoever in protecting the integrity of the voting process.

    October 1, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Gwats

    These are Obama voters for the most part. Latinos don't trust Romney .... With very good reason.

    October 1, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Conservatives......when stupid just isn't enough......."

    Oh come know as well as I do that stuipd always requires a hateful cherry on top.

    October 1, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    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.
    Yes, after Fidel dies, Marco can return to the motherland. By the way, I've been enjoying watching my 401K shoot up in value, and I am moving into a new house with a wonderful interest rate: an interest rate unimagineable under the previous administration. People are refinancing their homes, life is improving: except for you, apparently. I've never seen anyone get so much joy out of the death of another human being as you demonstrated with that post. I know you hate the thought of the country moving forward, since you seem to feel that you are the only person who has ever worked a full day in your life. I'm certain that I am doing at least as well as you ever have, if not more so. Too bad you seem so bitter towards the country that has given you the ability to express yourself, even if you are hateful.

    October 1, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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