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OCTOBER 2010 UPDATE | Download PDF
Over the past decade, Latino voters have increased their political power and made a decisive impact in races at all levels, including the presidential election. In 2010, Latino voters are poised to play a crucial role in key House, Senate, and gubernatorial races across the country.
As the Latino electorate grows in size and importance, candidates from all political parties must take them into account in order to remain viable in an increasing number of races. While the Latino electorate is trending Democratic generally, at least one segment—foreign-born, naturalized U.S. citizens of Latino descent, who represent 40% of the Latino voter population—has proven to be a true swing constituency. As demographic trends make clear, if the Republican Party wants to remain a national party for the long-term, it must be able to compete with Democrats for Latino voters.
Candidates for political office would be wise to not just look at how Latino voters are likely to vote in 2010 and beyond, but why. In particular, the immigration debate has played a crucial role in shaping voters’ view toward the two political parties, and has proven to be a galvanizing force that politicians in both parties need to understand.