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Early Results Demonstrate Electoral Clout of Latino Voters

The latest data from the impreMedia/Latino Decisions “Election Eve” poll suggests that Latino voters made a decisive impact on the Presidential race in key states across the country, according to initial Election Day analysis conducted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund. The NALEO Educational Fund projected that at least 12.2 million Latinos would cast ballots in this election - a historic record.

Results from the impreMedia/Latino Decisions poll provided exclusive insights into the Latino electorate this year, including Congressional and Presidential vote choice, issue priority and party evaluations. More than 5,600 Latino voters participated in the poll, residing in Ariz., Calif., Colo., Fla., Mass., N.C., N.M., Nev., Ohio, Texas and Va.

One of every five (20 percent) Latino voters polled identified as Independent, with 57 percent identifying as Democrat and 14 percent as Republican. When asked who they were supporting in this year’s Presidential election, 75 percent of Latino voters stated they would vote for President Barack Obama and 23 percent indicated support for Governor Mitt Romney. Of all Latino voters polled, voters in the battleground states of Fla. (40 percent) and Va. (31 percent) were most likely to support Governor Romney on Election Day.

Only 17 percent of Latino voters in Ohio, a key state that President Obama won tonight, were planning on casting ballots for Governor Romney in this election. The 18 Electoral College votes secured by President Obama from the state of Ohio helped him secure the votes necessary to secure reelection.

“In the past three presidential elections, Latino voters played a crucial role in several states, swinging the election from George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, to Barack Obama in 2008,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO Educational Fund. “Early results are showing Latino voters are making a crucial impact in battleground states nationwide, demonstrating that the race for the White House will once again be decided by the Latino electorate.”

Latino voters indicated that the economy/job creation (53 percent) was the biggest issue that needed to be addressed by political candidates this year. The second most important issue for Latino voters was immigration reform (35 percent), with 60 percent of respondents indicating that they knew someone in their lives who was undocumented. Education (20 percent) and healthcare (14 percent) rounded out the top four issues.

In the lead up to Election Day, there have been massive efforts to reach the Latino community from candidates, political parties and community organizations. The NALEO Educational Fund, along with partners of the ya es hora ¡Ve y Vota! (It’s time. Go and vote!) campaign, has implemented an unprecedented voter engagement program to provide hundreds of thousands of voters with vital information in both English and Spanish on all aspects of the electoral process; from registering to vote, to voter identification requirements, to finding their polling place.

Voters were provided with election related information through the campaign’s bilingual website at www.yaeshora.info, or via our toll-free hotline at 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682). Hotline call centers were located in 11 states across the country in partnership with partner organizations, with operators available seven days a week, 12 hours a day, to answer all election related questions. More than 3,642 callers received assistance on Election Day, with more than 18,700 callers helped since October 1.

Vargas concluded, “Latinos played a key role in shaping the nation’s political landscape tonight, demonstrating that they can both sway elections as voters and successfully pursue seats in Congress as candidates. According to media reports, former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R) is likely to win his contest for the U.S. Senate. If he is victorious, he would be the first Latino U.S. Senator from Texas.”

The impreMedia-Latino Decisions Election Eve Poll

The impreMedia-Latino Decisions Election Eve Poll included additional support and collaboration from America’s Voice Education Fund, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, NALEO Educational Fund, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Univision Political and Advocacy Group. The full poll results are available at http://www.latinovote2012.com/app/#us-national-all.


2012 Briefing on the Latino Vote

PRESENTATION by Arturo Vargas



Why Latinos Need to Register and Vote

Latinos are the fastest-growing and second largest population group in the United States. According to projections from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, more than 12.2 million Latino voters are expected to cast ballots on Election Day, an increase of 26 percent from 2008.

The Latino voter will again be a decisive force in the White House race, in addition to statewide and local elections across the nation. Latinos are predicted to be the deciding factor this November in nine key states, which carry 101 Electoral College votes of the 270 needed for either President Obama or Governor Romney to win this year.

Despite the ability of the Latino voter to shape America’s political landscape more than 10 million Latinos are expected not to vote this November. Imagine the electoral potential if all 23.5 million Latino citizens of voting-age were not only registered, but voted.

Imagine if all Americans of voting-age were not only registered, but voted. Campaigns and candidates are battling for support and for voters to rally behind their ideas and their leadership. Voting does not just send a candidate to Washington D.C., the state legislature or city hall; it speaks to the issues most pressing in a voter’s life such as the economy, education, and healthcare.

We can bring change to our communities, but we need to vote. In order to secure funding for schools, to create new jobs and safer streets we must cast our ballot in every election including the next one on November 6.

Ensuring today’s voter is informed, empowered, and inspired to own this year’s election means continuing to eliminate the barriers that prevent participation. Now more than ever, the need to register to vote is high.

Registering to vote has never been easier. NALEO Educational Fund, in collaboration with other national Latino organizations and Spanish-language media, coordinates the historic non-partisan Latino ya es hora (“It’s Time”) civic participation campaign, which helps voters navigate the registration process.

Individuals interested in registering to vote can call ya es hora’s national bilingual hotline, 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA, which is operational year-round to help voters with electoral information. While the Post Office and libraries provide voter registration forms, citizens can also register to vote easily online at www.YaEsHora.info. It takes less than 5 minutes to complete, and once complete, must be printed, stamped, and mailed. In addition, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will offer Californians the ability to register to vote online without needing to print the form by visiting www.dmv.ca.gov.

With less than three months until Election Day, it is critical people register to vote ahead of the registration deadline. The registration deadline in California is October 22, however it is never too early to register to vote or to encourage others to do the same. Registering to vote is the first step towards bettering communities and country. The second is making an informed vote on November 6 that speaks on what matters most to you. The next is continued engagement. Only through active participation, year after year, will we continue strengthening our democracy and our country.

Make your vote count on November 6. Register to vote!

The 2012 Latino Vote - Turning Numbers Into Clout

Latinos will turnout in record numbers in the next Presidential election, with at least 12.2 million casting ballots, according to projections released today by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund. This analysis also reveals that Latinos will account for a significant share of the electorate in several states.

According to NALEO Executive Director Arturo Vargas, “Latinos continue to reshape the nation’s political map, and the Latino electorate will play a decisive role in Election 2012.” The NALEO Educational Fund projects that the Latino vote will increase 26% from 2008, and Latinos will account for at least 8.7% of the country’s voters.

California, Florida and Illinois are likely to see the greatest percentage increase in turnout since 2008. In three states – California, New Mexico, and Texas – at least one in five voters will be Latino, with the Latino share of the electorate in New Mexico reaching 35%.

Projected Latino Voters
Increase From 2008
Projected Share
of Latino Vote

New Jersey
New Mexico
New York


Mr. Vargas continued, “While the Latino vote continues to increase with each Presidential election, much work needs to be done to fully engage Latinos in our country’s electoral process. In 2008, 19.5 million Latinos were eligible to vote, but half did not cast ballots, because they were not registered or did not turn out. The Latino electorate must make faster progress if America’s democracy is to thrive.”

The NALEO Educational Fund projections are based on Latino turnout in previous presidential elections. There are several trends that will affect the actual turnout of Latinos in 2012, including the following:

  • The public dialogue about issues that are important to Latinos, such as the economy,
    healthcare, immigration and education. Latino voters will be watching closely to see
    how the candidates address these issues.

  • The efforts made by the candidates and political parties to reach and engage Latino voters.

  • The impact of the Latino youth electoral participation. Between 2004 and 2008, the turnout
    of eligible Latino voters age 18-24 increased from 33% to 39%, and in 2008, one in seven
    Latino voters was in that age group. Latino youth represent a major part of the nation’s
    future population and its electorate. By the 2012 election, approximately 2.4 million more
    U.S.-born Latinos will be over18 years old than in the 2008 election.

  • The participation of Latino native-born and naturalized citizen voters. Typically, Latino
    naturalized citizens have higher turnout rates than the Latino native-born. In 2008, 54%
    of Latino naturalized citizens cast ballots, compared to 48% of the native-born.

Mr. Vargas concluded, “Both presidential candidates and political parties must actively work to engage Latino voters and address the issues they care about. This electorate has shown that it cannot be taken for granted by either party. Campaigns must enhance their strategies to reach all Latino voters, both native-born and naturalized. Latinos played a key role in the 2008 election; they will determine who is sworn in on January 20, 2013.”

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