December 22, 2015: Hispanic Voters and the 2016 Elections

According to an article in the Law Street Media, Hispanic voters will be an increasingly important demographic in the 2016 presidential elections. As Hispanic voters turn out in greater numbers, both Republicans and Democrats are trying to appeal to these communities across the country,

Today, Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, numbered at 54 million, or 17 percent of the total population. Recent projections estimate that by 2060 Hispanics will account for 31 percent of the total population. On average, one million Hispanic people are added to the American population yearly.

The largest group of Hispanic people is found in New Mexico (47.3 percent), followed by California with 14.4 million. They are also heavily represented in Texas (10 million) and Florida (4.5 million). In addition, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York all have more than one million Hispanic residents.

However, Hispanic Americans are less likely to be registered to vote than white or black Americans. According to 2013 data from Gallup, only 51 percent of all eligible Hispanic residents were registered to vote in the 2012 federal elections. Yet, even if not all eligible Hispanics are actually voting, they do boost the overall minority vote. 

Recent ethnic dynamics of the American electorate suggest that a collective ethnic minorities’ voting preferences can alter the outcome of future presidential elections, especially when taking into account the declining numbers of white voters. During the 2012 federal elections, President Obama managed to win with only 39 percent of white electorate support, while Romney lost despite carrying 59 percent of white voters.

It’s clear that both parties should seriously consider the Hispanic electorate during their 2016 campaigns. While there’s a lot of diversity within the American Hispanic population itself, there are certain issues that have stood as consistent concerns for many Hispanic voters. In any scenario, capturing the majority of Hispanic voters will be essential for both parties in 2016 and beyond.