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Latino Voters Save Senate for the Democrats

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As pundits sift through the data to make sense of what happened last night, this much is clear: Latino voters delivered. 

In the history of other “wave” elections, Democrats have seen a pattern of losing majorities in both the House and the Senate. However, not this year; thanks to the Latino firewall in the West – motivated perhaps by some candidate’s views on immigration and some smart voter mobilization efforts – the Democrats were able to keep control of the Senate, not to mention the Governors’ races in California and Colorado.

Based on election eve polling of Latino voters by Latino Decisions, it is clear that Latino voters provided the margin of difference in a number of key races. Check out some of these interesting figures:  

  • In the Colorado Senate race, Michael Bennet’s Latino margin over Ken Buck was 81% – 19%.  Latino turnout was up from 9% of the electorate in 2006 to 13% in 2010.

  • In the California governor’s race, Jerry Brown’s Latino margin over Meg Whitman was 86% – 13%. 

  • In the Colorado governor’s race , John Hickenlooper’s Latino margin over Tom Tancredo and Dan Maes was 77% – 14% – 9%.

According to the election eve polling which was conducted in eight states (AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, NM, NV, TX), Latinos voted for Democrats over Republicans by roughly 75%-25%, or in other words,  a three to one margin.  This means that overall, Latino immigrant voters (foreign-born, now naturalized citizens) supported Democrats by even larger margins.