On May 1st, SSDAN Director Dr. William H. Frey released a report for the Brookings Institution citing what he believes to be a key factor in the upcoming presidential election: the minority vote. The first aspect Dr. Frey highlights is the disparity between eligible voters and the total minority population. For every 100 Hispanic residents in America, only 44 are eligible to vote, whereas for every 100 white residents, 78 are eligible to vote.
Additionally, Dr. Frey points to the greatly increased voter turnout rate among minorities in 2008 compared to 2004. Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians all experienced an increase in voter turnout between 2004 and 2008, but what makes this trend significant is the fact that minorities overwhelmingly vote in favor of the Democratic candidate.
Lastly, Dr. Frey generates a third scenario, which takes into account the 2004 turnouts and margins for whites, and the 2008 turnouts and margins for minorities. In this final scenario, President Obama receives 292 electoral votes to Governor Romney's 246.
In the full report, Dr. Frey details the historical voting patterns of minorities, and he provides a more in depth look at what to expect for the minority influence on the 2012 election. Finally, for more information on historical voting patterns among various demographics, SSDAN recently released a brief detailing voter turnout in the past half-century.