The Hispanic Vote in 2012

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Jonathon Weisman discusses the potentially decisive role Hispanics may play in the 2012 elections, as Census data shows large increases in the voting-age Hispanic population in several swing states. According to the data, Florida saw a growth of nearly 250,000 in the Hispanic voting-age population from 2008 to 2010 while the growth of the voting-age white population was only 30,400.The growth in the voting-age Hispanic population also outpaced that of the voting-age white population in Nevada, with a 44,000 increase in Hispanics of voting-age and an 18,000 increase in whites of voting-age, and in New Mexico, with a 36,000 and 19,000 respective increase. The chart from the article shows the growth in White and Hispanic eligible voters in 7 key states, including Florida, Nevada and New Mexico, and their 2008 votes. As the chart indicates, Obama won all of the states except for Missouri but the Hispanic population has increased substantially relative to whites in each of the states since the 2008 election, with the highest percent increase in Hispanics eligible to vote in North Carolina, at 39.1%. Both parties are already making efforts to win the Hispanic vote in the 2012 election. According to Weisman, Obama conducted an online roundtable on Hispanic issues yesterday while GOP affiliated groups, such as American Crossroads, have been running both televised and radio ads in Spanish. Weisman also points out that while Obama won two-thirds percent of Hispanic votes nationwide in the 2008 election, his administration may have lost some Hispanic voters with high Hispanic unemployment rate relative to the national unemployment rate, failure to deliver on promises of an immigration law overhaul, and the Department of Homeland Security’s 1 million deportations of illegal immigrants during his term so far.

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