Latino vote

The Latino vote or refers to the voting trends during elections in the United States by eligible voters of Latino background. This phrase is usually mentioned by the media as a way to label voters of this ethnicity, and to opine that this demographic group could potentially tilt the outcome of an election, and how candidates have developed messaging strategies to this ethnic group.[1][2]

. . . Latino vote . . .

States with the most share of eligible Latino voters in 2016 were: New Mexico (40.4%), Texas (28.1%), California (28.0%), Arizona (21.5%), Florida (18.1%), Nevada (17.2%), Colorado (14.5%), and New York (13.8%).[3]

President Bill Clinton and his Latino appointees in 1998

The percentage of Latinos who participate in political activities varies, but rarely exceeds half of those eligible.[4] In general, Latinos participate in common civic activities, such as voting, at much lower rates than nearby non-Latino whites or blacks. Approximately 57.9 percent of U.S. citizen adult Latinos were registered to vote at the time of the 2004 election, and 47.2 percent turned out to vote.[5] The registration and turnout rates are approximately 10 percent lower than those of non-Latino blacks and 18 percent lower than those of non-Latino whites.

To explain low voter turnout among Latinos, researchers have analyzed voter participation demographics throughout many years. Researchers have found many explanations as towards why Latinos have a low voter turn out. There are explanations that account for physical barriers such as lack of transportation. As well as systemic barriers such as, harassment, discrimination, inadequate numbers of polling booths, inconvenient placements of polling booths, and biased administration of election laws may suppress Latino access to registering and voting.[6]

One of the biggest explanation for low Latino voter turn outs is associated with accurately measuring the Latino vote based on a general population that includes many non-citizens. The number of adult non-U.S. citizens rose from 1.9 million in 1976 to more than 8.4 million in 2000, a 350 percent increase.[5] Thus, the share of Latino nonparticipants are overwhelmingly non-U.S. citizens.

Another explanation for low levels of Latino voter turnout stems from the relatively young age of the Latino population.[7] For example, 40 percent of the California Latino population was under eighteen years of age in 1985.

Individuals with lower incomes vote at lower rates than people with higher incomes. In terms of income, the general argument is that individuals with higher socioeconomic status have the civic skills, the participatory attitudes, and the time and money to facilitate participation.[8] Education is also positively related to participation and vote choice, as Latinos with a college degree and postgraduate training are more likely to vote. More than 30 percent of Latino adult citizens have less than a high school education, while 12 percent of non-Latino white adult citizens have less than a high school education.[5] Therefore, low participation may result from low levels of knowledge about the political process that should be garnered through formal education.

This does vary based on country of origin. One study discussed how female Mexican-Americans and those attaining higher levels of income were more likely to register, and in turn, participate in voting.[9] On the other hand, however, education and marital status posed the primary barriers to Latino/a Puerto Rican voter registration.[9] These sorts of variations in factors seem to be present across many Latino communities in the United States. Additionally, studies have shown that the presence of Latino/a candidates on the ballot tends to yield a higher voter turnout among these communities.[10] This is in part due to the strong association between cultural identification and partisanship.[10] The ever-growing presence of Latino/a voters in politics is representative of the group’s growing presence across the United States, making up over 30% of the population in swing or politically significant states such as Texas, Arizona, or California.[10]It’s also worth noting that large migrating populations, such as the increase of Cuban-Americans in Florida, have a strong impact for similar reasons. Community identification proves a strong factor in voter registration, particularly among working Latinas.[10] Puerto Ricans in Southern states have similar turnout rates, presumably for similar reasons; that said, there does exist quite a bit of variation in numbers across states, in part due to the aforementioned factors.

Among other minority communities in the US, turnout seems to be increased by the presence of a member of their race on the ballot, black voter turnout rose significantly with Obamas two presidential campaigns and then fell back again in 2016.[11]

Although turn out for Latinos is low, it has been noted that Latinos residing in communities with a large Latino population are more likely to turn out to vote.[7]

. . . Latino vote . . .

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. . . Latino vote . . .

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