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New Polling, Interactive Online Tool Lets You See How Latino Voters Could Impact 2012 Election

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Washington, DC – Using current polling and voter data, Latino Decisions and America’s Voice Education Fund teamed up to create an interactive online map that allows the user to see for herself how Latino voters could impact the 2012 presidential race.  Introduced earlier this summer, the Latino Vote Map (www.latinovotemap.org) has been updated throughout the summer with fresh polling data.  Starting this week, it will updated weekly with national Latino numbers from Latino Decisions and impreMedia, and occasionally using state-based Latino polls from Latino Decisions and America’s Voice.  The first installment of the Latino Decisions/impreMedia tracking poll, released today, is also available here.

As we head into the final stretch of the 2012 elections, both political parties are looking at ways to increase their share of the Latino vote.  The interactive map allows you to see how different scenarios of Latino voter margin and mobilization will impact the elections—including scenarios that are possible in the 2012 season, and others that could take another cycle or two to develop. 

Right now and for the first time this cycle on the Latino Vote Map, Romney can pass the 270 margin in electoral votes, but only if he wins 51% of the Latino vote (select “Show who is leading virtual ties” underneath the “Electoral Votes” section to see this function in action).  During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Latinos voted for then Barack Obama over John McCain by a margin of 67% to 31%.  If Mitt Romney is able to win 38% of the Latino vote this year, the ambitious goal set by his campaign, he’d greatly improve his chances of winning certain battleground states.  Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Virginia would become more competitive for Romney in that scenario, although the Latino Vote Map deems even this percentage “high” for Romney based on recent polls.

If Republicans are unable to increase their share of the Latino vote, key battleground states become far less competitive over time.  For example, if Latino support for the GOP candidate remains at 22% in Colorado, but nationwide Latino turnout reaches 16%, the state will trend Democratic.  Texas becomes Democratic if the national Latino electorate rises to 18% and the percent voting GOP remains stagnant.  The same is true for Florida, if support for the GOP stays at 36% but the population grows to 19% of the nationwide electorate.  Even a small change can make a big difference.  For example, increasing the Latino voter share of the electorate from 9% to just 10% nationwide turns Arizona into a virtual tie and makes Nevada trend Democratic.

Starting today, impreMedia and Latino Decisions are releasing the results of their weekly nationwide tracking polls of Latino voters every Monday.  In addition, this fall America’s Voice and Latino Decisions will conduct additional surveys in battleground states.  As results from the nationwide tracking poll and battleground polls are released, Latino Decisions will update the Latino Vote Map with the freshest data for all 50 states.  Check back every week, and see how the Latino vote is reshaping the political map for 2012 and beyond.