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Latino voters to increase 23 percent in 2008 elections

Posted by Elena del Valle on January 16, 2008


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Chart: Tomás Rivera Policy Institute

The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) at the University of Southern California estimates that 9.3 million Latino voters will vote in the 2008 presidential elections. That represents an increase of more than 1.7 million voters or 23 percent when compared to 2004. Institute researchers believe that even in states without a significant Latino presence such as Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Washington, there may be thousands of new Latino voters in 2008.

“As the U.S. Latino population surges, we are seeing increases in registration and voter turnout due to increased naturalization numbers by Latino immigrants beginning in the 1990s and Latino youth coming of voting age” said Harry Pachon, Ph.D., president of the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute.

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The potential impact of a Latino voting bloc is particularly high in states with large concentrations of Latinos. For example, in California, 3.1 percent of Latino voters can result in a 1 percent change in the state’s presidential election results. In Florida, 4.5 percent of Latino voters can create a 1 percent statewide shift in the vote.

“Even with such substantial increases, Latinos must significantly increase their rates of registration and voting in order to influence the election’s results,” said Rudy de la Garza, vice president, TRPI.

Founded in 1985, the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) advances informed policy on key issues affecting Latino communities through objective and timely research contributing to the betterment of the nation. TRPI is an affiliated research unit of the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning, and Development and is associated with the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University.

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