The Latino vote examined

The Latino vote is increasingly recognized as important in U.S. elections. The number of Hispanics eligible to vote is now up to 11% of the electorate. But Hispanics tend not to vote and not to think about voting to the same degree that other groups do, a survey out today says.

The Pew Research Center says 61 percent of the Latino voters surveyed say they’ve thought a lot about the election, an unfavorable comparison to the registered voters in the electorate.

The study also points out that the turnout rate for eligible Latinos tends to lag historically and it probably will this year, too. Seventy-seven percent of Latinos surveyed say they are “absolutely certain” they will vote this year. Eighty-nine percent of all registered voters in the survey say they will.

And the Voter ID laws that are in effect. Most don’t think that will affect them, the respondents said. And most Latinos favor the idea.


One recent development that could potentially have an impact on the Latino turnout rate is the passage of state laws that require voters to show photo identification in order to cast a ballot. This year 11 states–Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Tennessee–have such laws in effect.1 Together, these states are home to 15% of all Latino eligible voters.2

According to the new survey, fully 97% of all Latino registered voters–as well as a nearly identical 95% of Latino registered voters in those 11 states–say they are confident they have the identification they will need to vote on Election Day.

The survey also finds broad support among Latino registered voters for voter photo ID laws; 71% favor them, nearly as high a share as among the general public (77%).

Here’s the full study.

  • BJ

    ” Eighty-nine percent of all registered voters in the survey say they will.”

    Wholly whoppers. What was turn out in the for the last several and the last presidential election 62-69% or so. 20-50% of those registered to vote, don’t.

    I’m guessing (only from my interaction with Hispanic families at my kids school) that the 77% that said they will turn out, will do just that.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Very difficult culture to analyze via polling for several reasons:

    – the “truth’ in general tends to be rather flexible.

    – many Latinos originate from national political circumstances where the vote is not private, and speaking the “truth” might involve risks.

    – machismo is more the norm than in non-Latino culture, ie a woman is more likely to say what her man expects/desires of her.

    ( Regarding machismo, here in California, Arnold Schwarzenegger handily defeated a Latino opponent among Latino voters because, well, because he’s Arnold.)

  • Todd Lowery

    I used to be a Democratic Senatorial District Delegate and this trickle up poverty isn’t what I signed on for. Hillary would have done a much better job getting the US back on it’s feet and back to work. Obama is no Clinton. What Bill Clinton had Barack Obama couldn’t even borrow to get. Clinton had true bi-partisanship, Obama couldn’t bribe a vote from legislators, even in the Democratic Senate! We don’t need another 4 years of this BS. We don’t need a do-over president, we need a do-er. Obama couldn’t make a profit in a lemonade stand, he’d give away all the product and earnings and have too much overhead. I want a real businessman to turn our suffering economy into a surplus economy. I want someone who has proven success, and can demonstrate it in his own life. I want the same opportunities for my kids that my folks had for me, I want my kid to be able to find work when he graduates in four years. That’s not going to happen under Obama. Anyone who says it will is full of it, just look at his record. Are college graduates able to find work? Hell no. Obama’s gotta go.

  • Kevin Watterson

    Hey awesome, another group we can segment ourselves off in and pander to. USA!