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Posts Tagged ‘Latino Vote’

Three Takeaways About Florida Latino Voters

Last Friday, the Pew Research Center released its latest findings about Florida’s Latino voters. The headline read, “Democratic edge in Hispanic voter registration grows in Florida,” and although that conclusion was not surprising (President Obama won Florida both in 2008 and 2012), I spent a bit more time examining Pew’s latest numbers and also discussing the data with Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew’s director of Hispanic research. Here are three takeaways about the Latino vote in Florida from the Pew information that I think are important to discuss:

Latinos with no party affiliation outpace Latinos who are registered Republicans. Most people who follow politics might not know this, but it is worth repeating: according to a 2012 Gallup poll, 51% of U.S. Latino voters identify themselves as political independents. However, Gallup noted, “once [Latino voters’] partisan leanings are taken into account, most Hispanics affiliate with the Democratic Party (52%) rather than the Republican Party (23%).”

Interestingly enough, a similar pattern has evolved in Florida when it comes to U.S. Latino voters. Here is what Pew said about the period between 2006 and 2014: “…the number of Hispanic registered voters increased by 56%, while the number of Hispanics identifying as Democrats or having no party affiliation each increased by about 80%.” It also added this graphic to emphasize the point:


Another way to look at it is via pure raw numbers: If there were 313,000 Florida Latinos who registered with no party affiliation in 2006, that number almost doubled (575,000) in eight years. That’s a net number increase of 262,000. Conversely, there were 414,000 Florida Latinos who registered as Republican in 2006. In 2014, that number is at 471,000: an increase of just 57,000. Why the sudden increase? How “independent” are these voters: are they Democrats in disguise or are they Republicans in hiding?

“Perhaps this information about the rise of voters who have registered with no party affiliation presents an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to actively reach out to these voters, especially in a close presidential election in Florida,” Lopez said.

And you wonder why Florida is a swing state.

Another point Lopez made about this rise of non-affiliated voters might have to do with young voters in Florida who haven’t chosen a party yet. Nonetheless, Lopez reiterated that these latest numbers can signal to both Democrats and Republicans that there are plenty of Latino votes up for grabs in the Sunshine State.

Miami might be more “independent” than you think. Pew also focused on three big counties in the state: Orange, Broward and Miami-Dade. As Pew stated: “…In Miami-Dade County –home to 46% of the nation’s Cuban-American population– Republicans still outnumber Democrats among Hispanic registered voters. In 2014, there were 265,000 Republicans and 218,000 Democrats.” Furthermore (based on the graphs below, see Miami-Dade on the right), is that the number of Latino voters in Miami-Dade who claim “no party affiliation” is greater than those who registered as Democrats:

Puerto Ricans moving to Florida are tipping the scales. It’s no secret: Puerto Ricans are leaving the island in record numbers (see reasons here) and moving to the mainland. Not surprisingly, Florida has become a top destination. It is estimated that about 300,000 Puerto Ricans live in Central Florida, while the overall population of Puerto Ricans in Florida is now at about 900,000 boricuas and growing. In this latest report, Pew noted the following: “In 2013, Cubans made up a smaller share (31%) of Hispanic eligible voters –adult U.S. citizens– in Florida than they did in 1990 (46%). Meanwhile, over the same period, Puerto Ricans made up a larger share of the state’s Hispanic eligible voters, rising from 25% to 29%.”


Another tidbit from Pew about this takeaway: “The share of Hispanic eligible voters of other ancestry (such as Mexico and South America) has also increased, from 29% then to 40% today.”

“This other group is everyone from Mexicans to South Americans who have become U.S. citizens,” Lopez said. “It is a very diverse of other groups, but by far Cubans and Puerto Ricans are the largest groups of Hispanic voters in Florida, and they are the ones driving the most Hispanic voter registration and outcomes.”

Pundits who continue to focus the conservative side of Miami as being the only source of political influence in the state when it comes to national presidential politics, might need to start looking past that. In fact, Pew noted, “Cuban Americans and their politics are also changing. This group increasingly leans toward the Democratic Party as more are born in the U.S. In addition, due to an influx of Cuban immigrants since 1990, a sizable majority of Cuban Americans today say they have at least some common values with people living in Cuba.”

“Miami-Dade is a Hispanic-rich district, the largest in the state,” Lopez said. “But even in Miami-Dade, we are seeing political partisanship in registered voters changing. Democrats have made inroads in registrations and there has been very little growth for Republicans in the same period of time.”

Let me know what you think of these takeaways or what Pew said in the full report. You can tweet me @julito77.


Maria Hinojosa: ‘The Latino Vote Can Be Energized’

This morning on Up with Steve Kornacki, Maria Hinojosa discussed the 2016 presidential race with the panel. Besides saying that the next election could be a defining moment for U.S. Latino voters (“The Latino vote can be energized”), Maria discussed Jeb Bush’s candidacy as well as pointing out an issue few are discussing in the political media: Hillary Clinton’s current strategy with the U.S. Latino electorate and whether the current Democratic front-runner has had a “watershed moment” with a group estimated to be about 8% of the nation’s voters. Here is the full clip (about seven minutes long):

What do you think of what Maria had to say? Tweet me @julito77 with your thoughts.


The influence of the Latino vote grabbed the headlines in this past election, and has brought comprehensive back into the political agenda. But how can Latinos take advantage of this political opening, and what other issues will they try to influence next? Host Maria Hinojosa speaks with Maria Teresa Kumar of Voto Latino and Jennifer Korn of Hispanic Leadership Network.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Jennifer S. Korn is Executive Director of the Hispanic Leadership Network. Ms. Korn has 18 years of experience as a conservative strategist. Previously, Ms. Korn served in the George W. Bush Administration as Director of Hispanic and Women’s Affairs in the White House, as well as Senior Advisor to the Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Prior to her public service, Ms. Korn was National Hispanic Director and Southwest Coalitions Director on President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign. As such, she developed and supervised the implementation of the strategy that resulted in President Bush receiving 44% of the Hispanic vote. Ms. Korn was born in East Los Angeles and is the first in her family to attend college. She is a military spouse.


Maria Teresa Kumar is the President/CEO of Voto Latino. Her strong record of accomplishment has earned her high profile recognitions, including being named as one of the 20 most notable Latinos under 40 by PODER Magazine, and numerous leadership awards including an Emmy nomination, the White House Project, Imagen Foundation and the New York legislature.

In addition to being a frequent commentator on MSNBC, Maria Teresa serves as an occasional blogger for national outlets. Maria Teresa started her career as a legislative aide. She received her Master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor’s in international relations from the University of California at Davis.


If results from the presidential election are true, Latino voters were key in tipping the balance that gave Obama four more years to usher in all the change he promised. For more in depth results on how the Latino vote influenced this past election, we speak to Matt Barretto, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington and co-founder of political research firm Latino Decisions.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Matt A. Barreto is an Associate Professor in political science at the University of Washington, Seattle and the director of the Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (WISER). He is also the director of the annual Washington Poll. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Irvine in 2005. His research examines the political participation of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States and his work has been published in the American Political Science Review, Political Research Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, and other peer reviewed journals.


As the elections wrap up, we have briefings from key areas around the country where the Latino vote had a key impact on the election – and also reflects America’s changing demographics.

Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of Colorlines (creative commons).

Ashley Lopez is a reporter for WLRN-Miami Herald News. She also splits her time as a reporter/blogger for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and as a local print reporter for The Miami Herald. Previously, Lopez was a reporter/blogger for The Florida Independent — a nonprofit news blog that covered Florida politics and public policy. A native Miamian, Lopez graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a journalism degree. She also interned for Talking Points Memo and an NPR affiliate in Durham, North Carolina.

Robbie Harris is WVTF/RADIO IQ‘s New River Valley Bureau Chief. Based in Blacksburg, Robbie covers the New River Valley and southwestern Virginia. She is a former news director of WBEZ/ Chicago Public Radio and WHYY in Philadelphia, where she led award-winning news teams and creative projects. She has also worked in public and commercial television, as well as print journalism.

News Director Peter O’Dowd leads a newsroom that includes reporters in seven Southwestern bureaus. His work has aired on The BBC, NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, and American Public Media’s Marketplace. He’s covered technology, the housing bubble and the constant flap over immigration policy that keeps Arizona in the national spotlight. Peter began his radio career at Wyoming Public Radio. He has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and he’s taught English in Tokyo, Japan.


The Latino vote has been a big topic in this election cycle. So what was the proof in the pudding and in the polls? We get an overview of Latino turnout, the effects of voter ID laws and early voting, and other factors that influenced the Latino role in the presidential, congressional races and ballot initiatives of 2012.

Click here to download this week’s show. Photo courtesy of Flickr

Patricia Guadalupe is Supervising Producer and Fill-in Host for AARP Viva Radio, a daily, Spanish-language radio show that discusses a variety of issues of importance to the Latino community and broadcast on Sirius XM. She is a contributing editor to Latino Magazine and Hispanic Link News Service and is a former Washington correspondent for CBS Radio, Radio Bilingue and Latino USA. Raised in Puerto Rico, she is a graduate of Michigan State University and of the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University.


Myrna Perez is a senior counsel for the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a legal research and advocacy organization at New York University. She also works on a variety of voting rights related issues, including redistricting, voter registration list maintenance, and access to the ballot box. Before joining the center, Ms. Pérez was the Civil Rights Fellow at Relman & Dane, a civil rights law firm in Washington, D.C.


The presidential race took the spotlight on Election Day, but from congressional and senatorial races to a historical referendum in Puerto Rico, there was more at stake for Latino voters. We speak to Victor Landa, founder and editor of News Taco, for a round up of other election results important to Latinos.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Victor Landa is the founder and editor of NewsTaco, a website that provides news, analysis and critique from a Latino perspective. He worked as a writer and editor for 30 years, mostly with Telemundo and Univisión. Landa also contributed to the San Antonio Express-News, and he is an adviser on media strategy, message crafting, storytelling and public speaking.

Immigration News Picks: Latino Voters Might Swing Arizona, Utah Has Had Just 745 DACA Applicants

In Arizona, backlash against anti-immigration legislation SB 1070 could mean a major increase in Latinos voting for Democratic candidates. A Latino Decisions poll of Latino voters in Arizona finds that eighty percent would vote for Obama, while just fourteen percent said they would vote for Mitt Romney. This is in a state where Latino voters are much more enthusiastic about voting than the national average.

Speaking at the launch of the poll sponsored by America’s Voice, Rodolfo Espino, Associate Professor of Political Science at Arizona State University, explained the results:

“Latino voters in Arizona expressed frustration towards both political parties immediately following the passage of SB1070. As we head toward the 2012 Presidential election, the feelings of frustration by Latinos have tilted more against Republican candidates and enthusiasm for Democratic candidates has moved up. This has made the general elections in Arizona more competitive than many initially anticipated.”

Check out their interactive Latino Vote Map at and our conversation with a Latino Decisions analyst from last month about Latino candidates and their influence on Latino voting patterns.

While Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA has proven popular nationwide with 82,000 applicants in its first month, the response in Utah has been surprisingly small.

Marjorie Cortez, in the Deseret News reports:

“Fear of immigration officials is keeping young illegal immigrants away from the federal government’s deferred action program, with only 745 people applying in Utah during the first month of the program.”

Virginia, by comparison, had 1,954 applicants during the same time period, New York 6,637 and California 20,786. Cortez quotes Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, a DACA supporter, saying that applications in his state are lower than anticipated due to uncertainty over the election. Republican candidate Mitt Romney has said he would repeal the program if he is elected.

Fi2W is supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with additional support from the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation and the Sirus Fund. Image courtesy of flickr.

Aaron Leaf is a freelance writer and editor who has reported on human rights issues from Zambia, Liberia, Canada and Peru. He is a graduate of Ryerson University and the former editor of Ricepaper, a journal of Asian Canadian arts and culture.


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