CAN HISPANICS MAKE AN IMPACT ON THE UNITED STATES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION?

THE HISPANIC BLOG BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

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Hispanics are comprised of 16 percent of the U.S. population, just 43 percent of Hispanics are eligible to vote. According to the Pew Demographics report, Latinos have a higher proportion of non-citizens and those under 18-years-of-age. This is spread among many states and diminishes the impact on elections and the Electoral College. In some states, Latinos only comprise of as little as one or two percent of the electorate.

However, in states such as California and Nevada, the demographic effects of the Hispanic and Latino vote can impact the results dramatically. In these states, both political parties will be competing for their votes using the issues that are important to these voters.

The Hispanic population in Florida is the third-largest in the nation with Latinos representing 13.1% of all votes for the state. Candidates will be paying the closest attention to the state of New Mexico that accounts for the largest percentage of Hispanic voters at 39%.

The demographic reality may affect the way both political parties discuss and handle policies that alienate Latinos. However, unless there is a higher proportion of Latinos voting in 2012 could determine which party controls the presidency and both houses of Congress for the next four years.

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