Today, America’s Voice is releasing the fourth installment of our “State Spotlight: Immigration, Latino Voters, and the 2012 Elections” series with an analysis of Latino electoral politics in Colorado. Today’s fact sheet follow earlier installments about Nevada, Florida, and Arizona; in the coming weeks America’s Voice will release additional fact sheets highlighting the role of the Latino vote in states like Arizona, New Mexico, and Virginia.
Today’s Colorado data includes a snapshot of recent polling of Latino voters in the state, an updated look at Colorado’s Latino population, estimates of the Latino share of eligible and registered voters, a look at 2012 competitive Senate and House races, competitive state congressional races, a look back at Latino voters’ role in previous Colorado elections, and access to an interactive map that will let users view for themselves how fluctuations in Latino turnout could swing elections in Colorado and other states.
View the full Colorado fact sheet here. Below is a preview:
Colorado Latinos By The Numbers
Latinos in Colorado (2010 Census)
Growth in Latino Population, 2000-2010 (2010 Census)
Latino Proportion of Eligible Voters (projection via William Frey/Ruy Teixeira, 2012)
Latino Proportion of Registered Voters (projection via Latino Decisions, 2012)
The Latino Vote Map currently labels Colorado a “virtual tie” in the general election—but one that leans slightly toward Obama. The median estimate for Latino turnout in Colorado, based on registration and Census data, is 12.0% percent of the electorate. If Romney gets 22% of Colorado Latino votes in November (consistent with his showing in the Latino Decisions poll from June), and 12.0% of Colorado voters are Latinos, Obama will win 47.5% of all votes in the state, and Romney will win 46.1%:
But in August, Matt Barreto named Colorado a “Tier 1” Latino vote state (along with Florida and Nevada), explaining:
In each of these states, if Latino voter turnout decreases, Barack Obama loses his lead to Mitt Romney. Or, if turnout stays at expected levels, but Romney gains 10-15 points among Latino voters he wins all three of these key battlegrounds and their combined 44 electoral college votes. There is absolutely no question Latinos will be influential in these three states.
Unfortunately, the Republican state government in Colorado—like many Republican-governed states —is taking steps to influence the outcome of the election by suppressing the votes of Latinos and other minorities. As in Florida, the Colorado state government conducted a very visible campaign to “purge” the voter rolls of people they suspect to be noncitizens, sending 4,000 letters to registered voters ordering them to prove their eligibility. While the overwhelming majority were proven to be eligible to vote, and the Secretary of State has decided to abandon the purge (allowing county clerks to decide whether to pursue voters who haven’t yet proven eligibility) the episode is likely to make Latinos and naturalized citizens feel like they will be questioned at the polls. Even if Romney gets only 22% of the Latino vote in Colorado, he will still pull even with Obama if Latino voter turnout is as low as 9.4%:
Visit LatinoVoteMap.org to see for yourself how Latino voters are poised to influence the 2012 elections in Colorado and beyond.