Both Democrats and Republicans worked hard this election to gain the Latino vote, and for a good reason. Indeed, the Latino vote might have been the key to Obama’s victory.With one of the largest Latino voter turnouts in American history, the Latino community predominately supported the Obama/Bidden ticket, helping them to nab states that were crucial for the win like Nevada, New Mexico, and Iowa. However, there is some irony in the fact that Latinos, an underprivileged, underappreciated demographic, held major sway over the direction of the election. As well, this is also evidence that an immigrant group really can assimilate politically in their new place of citizenship.
The Latino voter turnout was the best it has ever been, with states like Nevada increasing Latino voter turnout by more than 500%, while in Florida early statistics showed the Latino vote rising from 15% in 2008 to 17% in 2012. This was mostly due to the fact that more Latinos are eligible to vote this election at around 24 million compared to the 4 million that were eligible in 2008.
Both parties, recognizing the sway that Latino voters would have, worked hard this campaign to get issues on the table that Latino voters would respond to and also increased efforts to get-out-the-vote among the Latino community. All across the country there were campaigns directed solely at increasing Latino participation in the election, and it looks like it worked.
Not only was there just a shear increase in Latino voter turnout, but also the percentage of Latino voters that voted for Obama had a huge impact on the way the election went. 69% of Latino voters identified as Democrat versus only 30% that identified as Republican. Nonetheless, 71% of Latinos voted for Obama, and only a meager 27%–the lowest in Republican Presidential history–for Romney.
This shows that the Obama campaign did a much better job reaching out to the Latino vote then Romney did. It also shows that any candidate wishing to win the election is going to have to really take the Latino vote into consideration.
However, the fact that Latino communities came out, and in such force, and voted even though our nation as whole may have failed to give this minority a lot of their rights, shows that the Latino community still believes enough in the democratic process to give their vote. This election has also showed that even though a community, especially an immigrant community, might be a minority demographic they can still have a huge influence over the politics in a country.