Records Number of Eligible Hispanic Voters
In the upcoming November election, there will be a record number of eligible Hispanic voters. More Hispanics voters will have the right to vote than in any prior presidential election in U.S. history.
A new report by the Pew Hispanic Center showed that more than 23.7 million Hispanics would be eligible on November 6 to vote. That means they are over 18 years of age and are U.S. citizens. It is a 22% increase from the 19.5 million that were eligible during the 2008 election.
Both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have gone after the Hispanic vote aggressively. The turnout however of Hispanic voters was lower as a group at 50%, in 2008 than that of white voters, who turned out at a rate of 66% and black voters who turned at a 65% rate.
In addition, the voter registration for Hispanics between 2008 and 2010, for midterm elections, decreased significantly. Over 600,000 fewer Hispanics registered in the midterm election than registered for the 2008 presidential election just two years prior.
The new report by the Pew Center suggests that two factors could have led to less Hispanics registering to vote: a reduction in enthusiasm for an election that does not include the president, and a downturn in the economy that displaced a number of Hispanics and caused problems with having current valid voter registration information.
Whether that downward trend continues into the 2012 election is unknown, since voter registration data nationally is not available until following the election. However, four states have published voter sign-up information showing an increase in the number of Hispanics registering since the last presidential election in 2008. In the key battleground state of Florida, 1.6 million Hispanics have registered before July 15, which was an increase of more than 300,000 that had registered to vote in the presidential election of 2008.