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The Latino vote or the Hispanic vote refers to the voting trends during elections in the United States by eligible voters of Latino or Hispanic 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.
In the United States, the Latino or Hispanic vote is typically associated with immigration issues such as immigration reform, immigration enforcement and amnesty for undocumented immigrants, usually with images of Mexican illegal immigrants crossing the border or being arrested by the border patrol, despite the fact that in many cases immigration could be an issue no more important than unemployment or the economy for many Latino American citizens.
A study by the Center for Immigration Studies projected that in November 2012 Hispanics would comprise 17.2 percent of the total U.S. population, 15 percent of adults, 11.2 percent of adult citizens, and 8.9 percent of actual voters. By comparison, the report found that in 2012, non-Hispanic whites are expected to be 73.4 percent of the national vote and non-Hispanic blacks are expected to be 12.2 percent. The report noted that by weight "eight percentage points of the Hispanic vote nationally equals slightly less than one percentage point of the non-Hispanic white vote." The study also found that the 8.9 percent Hispanic share of voters compares to veterans (12 percent of the electorate), those with family incomes above $100,000 (18 percent), seniors 65 and older (19 percent), married persons (60 percent), and those who live in owner-occupied housing (80 percent).
In terms of voter turnout, the Center for Immigration Studies projected that 52.7 percent (± 0.6) of eligible Hispanics will vote in the 2012 election, an increase from 49.9 percent in 2008 and a continuation of the past decade's long upward trend. The projected Hispanic voter participation rate of 52.7 percent compares to 66.1 percent for non-Hispanic whites and 65.2 percent for non-Hispanic blacks in 2008.
- Politics of the United States
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- Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler, "Projecting the 2012 Hispanic Vote," Center for Immigration Studies, August 2012. Available at: http://cis.org/projecting-2012-hispanic-vote-nationally-battleground-states