By: Quinn Daly
With the Hispanic Leadership’s conference Rebuilding the American Dream, soon approaching, it is important to understand the importance of the Hispanic vote in the upcoming 2012 election cycle. As many are aware, Hispanics are a have historically held large sway in border states like California, Arizona, and Texas. However, in recent years Hispanics have begun to move throughout the country and become a major voting bloc throughout the country.
Matt Baretos’s article “Where Latino Votes Will Matter in 2012,” demonstrates these changes throughout the country. Since 2000, the Hispanic population has seen a 43% growth across the country. Many pollsters, including Bareto, believe that Hispanics will constitute around 21.5 million voters across the country. Consequently, Hispanic voters will consist of 10% of the population in 11 states, such as New Mexico, Florida, and Arizona. Furthermore, Hispanics will account from between 5% to 10% in 13 additional states, such as Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado. All told, Hispanics have the ability to influence elections in 24 states with sizeable minorities in all these states.
The upcoming election will prove to be a vital one for both Republicans and Democrats. In addition to the House of Representatives, there are 33 open Senate seats to be contested as well as the cherished Presidential hot seat. A turn either way could change the direction of the nation. Hispanics will play a significant role because they make up sizeable minorities in traditional swing states such as Ohio, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. These minorities are storng enough to sway an election on way or the other. The loss of the 9th Congressional seat in New York demonstrated that there are no safe seats on Capitol Hill. It will be interesting to see how the Hispanic vote plays out in this dynamic.
The Hispanic Leadership Network’s conference to educate Hispanics on center right policies will prove vital for Republican efforts in the upcoming election. There is still a significant amount of Hispanic voters who are still not registered. There are an estimated 2.1 million Hispanic voters who have yet to register in Texas, 2 million in California, and 300,000 in Illinois. If Republicans are going to take seats away from Democrats, it will become vital to convince these voters to register and vote. HLN’s mission to educate Hispanics of center right principles will prove vital in the upcoming election cycle.