Bloomberg Línea — Latino voters have become the second-largest segment of the US electorate, representing 14.3% of the electoral roll as of November 2022, and will therefore have an impact on the outcome of the 2024 presidential elections.
With around 35 million Hispanics eligible to vote, the Latino community has the power to define the political destiny of the country. However, a recent Axios poll has revealed that much of the community feels “adrift” with respect to their political standing in the nation.
The number of eligible Latino voters has increased over the past two decades, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, rising from 7.4% of the total in 2000 to 12.8% in 2018 and 14.3% currently.
Currently, 34.5 million Latinos are eligible to vote, a 142% increase over 2000, with a population increase in all 50 states and Washington, DC.
Despite this, there is a certain degree of apathy, as Hispanics surveyed by Axios expressed that neither Democrats nor Republicans seem to really care about them, which could impact the electoral outcome.
Walter Tejada, a political analyst and president of the Virginia Latino Leaders Council, said that the community, especially young people, is becoming aware of the importance of making their voice heard through voting, and noted that the Latino vote is strong and growing, according to El Tiempo Latino.
A prime example of the growing influence of the Latino vote was reflected in the Virginia primary elections, where a record number of Latino candidates were elected. These positions in local government, city council, board of supervisors and house of delegates are vital as they are spaces where issues that directly impact the community are debated.
However, the importance of providing truthful and accurate voting information to the Latino community and effectively communicating the accomplishments and policies that benefit this community are still scarce and a stumbling block for Latinos to get to the polls.
Which are the US states in which the Latino vote has the most weight?
California and Texas are two states that play a crucial role in the US presidential and political elections due to their high representation of eligible Hispanic voters. With approximately one-quarter of all eligible Hispanic voters residing in California, and the second largest number in Texas, the two states have a significant influence on the upcoming political makeup of the US.
According to 2020 data, California is home to some 8.3 million eligible Hispanic voters, which equates to 26% of the total in the country. In Texas, 6.2 million eligible Hispanic voters were registered, consolidating the state as that with the second-highest representation of the Latino community.
Those two states are followed by Florida, with 3.4 million, New York with 2.1 million and Arizona with 1.3 million Hispanic registered voters.
On the other hand, New Mexico stands out for having the highest proportion of eligible voters who are Latino, representing 44% of the total number of eligible voters in the state. In addition, New Mexico is the only state where Latinos constitute a majority among all racial and ethnic groups, while in California and Texas, Hispanics make up approximately one-third of the eligible voting population, ranking second among the major racial and ethnic groups in both states.