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Spanish-Language Media Panel Talks Immigration and the Latino Vote

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Spanish Language Media PanelToday, the Center for American Progress (CAP) and America’s Voice hosted a panel entitled “Spanish-Language Media and the Issues that Move Latino Voters.” The event included some of the major players from the Spanish-Language press: María Elena Salinas, Co-Anchor for Noticiero Univisión; Teresa E. Frontado, Online Editor for El Nuevo Herald; Henrik Rehbinder, Editorial editor for La Opinión; and Samuel Orozco, Executive Producer and Host of “Línea Abierta” on Radio Bilingüe.

Frank Sharry kicked off the event noting that Latino voters are not only the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. – they are the fastest growing voting demographic. Spanish-language media is “hugely influential” with this demographic, according to Sharry, yet many in DC still fail to understand the reach and impact of the Spanish-language media.

Perhaps now would be a good time for some politicians to start paying attention. Consider the facts:

  1. Since the last Census in 2000, the Latino population in America has grown dramatically, and Latinos have become the largest minority group in the United States. In fact, Latinos are responsible for 51% of the United States’ population growth from 2000 to 2009.

  2. While Latino Voters mostly vote democrat, there is a significant segment (foreign-born, naturalized U.S. citizens, who represent 40% of the Latino voter population), which has proven to be a true swing constituency.

  3. In the 2008 presidential election, approximately 10 million Latinos voted (around 9% of the electorate), an increase of roughly 2.5 million voters from 2004 and nearly 4 million from 2000.  

  4. In 2008, Latino voters helped swing four key states in 2004 to Obama (Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico). In 2010, Latinos’ strong turnout, especially in the West, was widely credited attributed to saving the Senate and turning out in record numbers.