Hispanic and Latino American politics in the United States

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Hispanic and Latino Americans have received a growing share of the national vote in the United States by their growing number. They have traditionally been a Democratic constituency, in the main.[1]

Hispanic/Latino Participation and Key Issues[edit]

According to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates as of July 1, 2013, there are roughly 54 million Hispanics living in the United States, representing approximately 17% of the U.S. total population, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic minority. Mexican Americans alone are 64% of Hispanics,[2] the Democratic Party is considered[by whom?][timeframe?] to be in a far stronger position among Hispanics overall.[citation needed] The U.S. Census indicates that the Hispanic population of the United States is the fastest growing minority group in the country.[3]

More than 9% of eligible voters nationwide are Latino. The majority support for Democratic candidates continues a pattern among Hispanic voters. In a December 2011 poll, 67% of Hispanics said they were Democrats, and 20% said they were Republicans.[4]

In the 2010 midterm elections, 60% of Hispanics voted Democratic, while 38% voted Republican.[5] In 2008, 67% of Hispanics voted for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, while 31% of Hispanics voted for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.[6] In 2006, 69% of Latino voters supported Democratic candidates in congressional races, while 30% supported Republican candidates.

According to an October 2010 report by the Pew Hispanic Center, Hispanics rank education, jobs, and health care as their top three issues of concern. Immigration ranks as the fourth most important issue for all Latinos.[7]

Latino Vote in 2016 Presidential Election[edit]

Hillary Clinton won 66% of Latino voters on Election Day, according to updated National Election Pool exit poll data, a level of Democratic support similar to 2008, when 67% of Hispanics backed Barack Obama. However, Clinton’s share of the Latino vote was lower than in 2012, when 71% of Latinos voted to re-elect Obama. [8]

Democrats and Hispanic/Latino Voters[edit]

Support for the Democratic Party among Hispanics has remained strong because of the Democratic Party's platform of less immigration restrictions, civil rights for Hispanics, and support for social programs that tend to benefit low-income Hispanic families. Although some Latino leaders have criticized the party for not doing enough to help Latino candidates move from city council, legislative and congressional seats to the party's highest elected offices. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a candidate in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, has noted that victories by Hispanic Republican candidates in several key races during the 2010 election cycle, including Marco Rubio in Florida's U.S. Senate race and the elections of Brian Sandoval as Nevada's first Hispanic governor and Susana Martinez as the country's first Latina governor, have posed a significant challenge to the Democratic Party in retaining support among Hispanic and Latino voters. "Democrats have to recruit more Hispanic candidates and they have to start siding with Hispanics on redistricting and other issues," Richardson said, "because many Hispanics perceive the party doesn't care enough about electing more Hispanic officials."[9]

Other Hispanic Democrats, including former DNC vice-chairwoman Linda Chavez-Thompson, have accused the party of taking Hispanic support for granted, and not doing enough to increase turnout among Latinos: "I think for the longest time [the Democratic Party], including myself, automatically thought that if you were a Latino you voted Democrat," she said. "That’s not true anymore. We need to ramp up our Latino outreach. We can’t sit back and let the Republicans take votes because we don’t have a message for Latino voters." Chavez-Thompson, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 2010, further stated that more money and effort needs to be spent by the Democratic Party and its supporters on targeted messaging, recruitment.

The Democratic Party however has some issues with Hispanics regarding abortion, gay rights, and stance on limited government, especially in matters of religious freedom.[10][11]

Republicans and Hispanic/Latino Voters[edit]

Republican Outreach to Hispanic and Latino Voters[edit]

Republicans have long maintained their party is a natural fit for Hispanics, particularly recent immigrants, because of the party's social conservatism, anti-abortion stance and positions for private school vouchers and other school choice proposals as well as lower taxes.[12] Republicans are trying to chip away at Hispanics’ overall 2-1 preference for Democrats.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich have taken proactive measures. Jeb Bush chairs the Hispanic Leadership Network, an ongoing effort by the American Action Network and the American Action Forum to provide a platform for the Hispanic community to connect with center-right policies and leaders.[13] Newt Gingrich started The Americano, a bilingual news and commentary web site that promotes conservative ideals within the Hispanic community.[14]

Hispanic/Latino Criticism of the Republican Party[edit]

The main divider between Hispanics and Republicans is the differing views and perceived harsh rhetoric on illegal immigration and racism. 81% of Latinos believe that unauthorized immigrants should not be deported. Some Republicans encourage reforming the immigration system,[15] while other Republicans advocate deporting them all. Republicans also support efforts to enforce the law (deporting illegal aliens), while most Republicans are open to welcoming back immigrants who enter America through legal avenues.[16]

Former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla. said, “If we become perceived as an anti-immigrant party, America, being a country of immigrants, will never allow us to be the majority party.”[17]

Notable Hispanic/Latino Politicians[edit]



Latino Political Organizations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Munoz Jr, Carlos (2 November 2000). "The Latino challenge". BBC Website. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  2. ^ "Detailed Hispanic Origin: 2006" (PDF). Pew Hispanic Center. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  3. ^ "US Census Press Releases". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  4. ^ Lopez, Mark Hugo; Gonzalez-Barrera, Ana; Motel, Seth (December 28, 2011). "As Deportations Rise to Record Levels, Most Latinos Oppose Obama's Policy". Pew Hispanic Center. Pew Research Center.
  5. ^ Lopez, Mark Hugo (November 3, 2010). "The Latino Vote in the 2010 Elections". Pew Hispanic Center. Pew Research Center.
  6. ^ Lopez, Mark Hung (November 5, 2008). "The Hispanic Vote in the 2008 Election". Pew Hispanic Center. Pew Research Center.
  7. ^ Statistics were obtained from CNN’s Election 2010 website and are based on the Edison Research’s national and state exit poll surveys of voters as reported on December 30, 2010.
  8. ^ Lopez, Mark (November 29, 2016). "Hillary Clinton won Latino vote but fell below 2012 support for Obama". Pew Hispanic Center. Pew Research Center.
  9. ^ Barabak, Mark (17 June 2011). "Democrats Losing Favor with Hispanics". Hispanic News. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
  10. ^ http://www.latinodecisions.com/blog/2012/08/24/can-the-republicans-connect-with-latinos-on-abortion-2/
  11. ^ http://www.christianpost.com/news/hispanic-voters-view-on-gay-marriage-split-along-faith-lines-83562/
  12. ^ Wides-Munoz, Laura. "Jeb Bush Guides Republican Outreach to Latinos" CNSNews.com. Retrieved 2011-03-13
  13. ^ [1], AAN and AAF Launch Hispanic Leadership Network
  14. ^ [2], About The Americano
  15. ^ [3], Republican Party Platform 2008
  16. ^ [4], Pew Hispanic Center.
  17. ^ Mazzei, Patricia. "Lincoln Diaz-Balart: GOP can't win if perceived as anti-immigrant" Miami Herald. Retrieved 2011-03-19

External links[edit]