It's Hispanic Heritage month, and many of you out there are celebrating in some way all the contributions Hispanics, Latinos, Mexican-Americans, Colombian-Americans—the list is long—have brought to the U.S. This is also the time for presidential hopefuls to hustle, more than usual, for our vote, because it just turns out that we are a demographic that becomes more and more influential every election cycle.
The Center for American Progress' Lizet Ocampo published an analysis Thursday
listing the top 6 facts about what the Latino vote means to this country's politics.
"In the aftermath of the 2012 elections, analysts described the increasing power of the Latino vote," Ocampo says in the report. "Expected and potential shifts could have dramatic electoral consequences: a growing Latino population turning 18 every year, many more lawful permanent residents naturalizing, an increase in eligible Latinos registering to vote, and additional Latino voters turning out to the polls. These numbers show that not only are Latinos already a growing segment of the electorate, but tremendous potential also exists for Latinos to gain much more political power in 2016 and beyond."
Here's a quick summary, but check out the entire analysis on the CAP website
1. The number of Latinos is growing.
Next year, there will be approximately 58.1 million Latinos living in the U.S. Between 2014 to 2060, the Latino population is expected to increase to about 119 million people, making Latinos 29 percent of the U.S. population.
2. The Latino electorate is increasing.
Latinos over the age of 18 will make up 16 percent—about 39.8 million—of the country's adult population by next year. Ninety-three percent of Latino children are U.S.-born citizens.
3. The Latino share of eligible voters is growing.
In 2016, 13 percent of eligible voters will be Latinos, with that number being higher in some states such as Florida.
4. Latinos are underrepresented on registered voter rolls.
In 2012, there were 13.7 million Latinos registered to vote. But 23.3 million were eligible to vote that year, which means that 9.6 million Latinos—41 percent—were eligible to vote but did not register.
5. Latinos are showing up in greater numbers at the polls.
For next year's elections, whoever wins the Republican presidential candidacy must get between 47 and 52 percent of the Latino vote to win the general election.
6. Immigration is the top issue for Latino voters.
Polls show that immigration is THE
issue for Latino voters. There is great support for comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship and implementation of the recent administrative actions (such as the Deferred Action for Parents program President Obama created last year, but has been temporarily blocked).