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Election Analysis: The Latino Vote

December 08, 2008 - Posted by Maurice Belanger

Nationally, the Latino share of the electorate increased by 1% over their share in 2004 (from 8% to 9%), and totaled 11 million voters—three million more than in the 2004 election.  Barack Obama captured 67% of those voters, compared to John Kerry’s 56%. In absolute numbers, that’s about 3 million more Latino voters for the Democratic candidate.

In several key states that went Republican in 2004, the increase in the Latino share of the electorate was larger than the national average.  In New Mexico, it was 9% greater.  In Colorado and Nevada, it was 5% greater.  These states went for Barack Obama.  (Pew Hispanic Center)


A survey of Latino voters conducted after the election in the 21 states accounting for 93% of the Latino electorate found that a whopping 92% of Latino registered voters surveyed said they had cast a ballot.  Of those voters, 46% were immigrants.  A significant number (15%) were voting for the first time.  A higher percentage of respondents to this survey said they voted for Barack Obama (72%) than had been reported from exit polls.  Among these voters, expectations are high for the immigration issue to be addressed, and comprehensive reform is strongly favored. (NALEO)


In Miami and Los Angeles, exit polling revealed that the subset of Latino voters that were immigrants voted in a higher percentage for Obama—78% vs. 22% for McCain.  These voters made up 40% of the Latino vote in those two locations.  For 89% of the Latin American immigrant voters, the issue of immigration was “very” or “somewhat” important.  More than 90% said they favored giving undocumented immigrants a chance to legalize their status. (America’s Voice)

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