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Latino Americans make up an increasing share of the United States (U.S.) electorate. A record 29 million Latinos were eligible to vote in the 2018 midterm elections, accounting for 12.8% of all eligible voters, a new high. They made up an estimated 11% of all voters nationwide on Election Day, nearly matching their share of the U.S. eligible voter population (U.S. citizens ages 18 and older).[1]

History

The U.S. Census indicates that the Latino population of the U.S. is the fastest growing minority group in the country.[2] More than 12.8% of eligible voters nationwide are Latino.[3]

20th century

Prior to the 1950's, Hispanic political affiliation swayed back and forth between the two major parties. From the American Civil War to the Great Depression, the majority of American Hispanics, as well as the majority of African-Americans, were Republicans. However, following the Great Depression, more Hispanics began to side with the Democratic party, due to Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal agenda. Many Hispanics were distrustful of Herbert Hoover and the Republican party, who they viewed as responsible for the economic crash.[4]

American Hispanics first began to widely support a Republican candidate, Dwight D. Eisenhower, during the 1952 U.S. presidential election. Hispanic World War II veterans were drawn to support Eisenhower due to his service in the war, as well as the belief that he would be able to end the Korean war. Other non-veteran Hispanic voters were drawn to Eisenhower, due to his promotion of hard work, freedom, prosperity, and religious spirituality. Hispanic conservatives created groups such as "Latinos con Eisenhower" and pinned political buttons on their shirts stating "Me Gusta Ike".[5]

In 1980, Republican Ben Fernandez became the first Hispanic to ever run for President of the United States.[6] Over the next decade, Ronald Reagan viewed Latino social values as closely related to conservative values, as both tended to place an emphasis on religious faith, family, and hard work. Additionally, both groups tended to maintain a strong opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. Reagan often stated that "Hispanics are conservative. They just don’t know it.”[7]

21st century

In the 2018 midterm elections, three out of four Latino voters supported a Democratic candidate.[8] However, Republicans enjoy strong support among Cuban-American and Venezuelan-American voters,[9] as well as among Latino voters in Florida and Texas.[10] Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadoran-Americans, Guatemalan-Americans, and Dominican-Americans tend to support the Democratic Party. As the latter groups are far more numerous (Mexican-Americans make up 64% of the Latino population in the United States),[11] the Democratic Party typically receives the majority of the Latino vote.

Although Latinos as a whole, tend to support Democratic candidates, the Democratic Party has lost ground among their voting population since its high-water mark in 2012.[12]

In 2004, according to research by the Thomás Rivera Policy Institute, 58% of Latino voters self-identified as a Democrat, while 22% identified as a Republican and 19% as an Independent.[13]

In 2006, 69% of Latino voters supported Democratic candidates in congressional races, while 30% supported Republican candidates.

In 2008, 67% of Latinos voted for then-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, while 31% of Latinos voted for then-Republican presidential nominee John McCain.[14]

During the 2010 midterm elections, 31% of eligible Latino voters turned out to vote.[15] 60% of Latinos supported Democratic candidates, while 38% supported Republican candidates.[16]

A 2012 study by the Center for Immigration Studies projected that in November 2012 Latinos would comprise 17.2% of the total U.S. population, 15% of adults, 11.2% of adult citizens, and 8.9% of voters. By comparison, the report found that in 2012, non-Latino whites are expected to be 73.4% of the national vote and non-Latino blacks are expected to be 12.2%. The report noted that by weight, "eight percentage points of the Latino vote nationally equals slightly less than one percentage point of the non-Latino white vote." The study also compared the 8.9% Latino share of voters to veterans (12% of the electorate), those with family incomes above $100,000 (18%), seniors 65 and older (19%), married persons (60%), and those who live in owner-occupied housing (80%).[17]

In terms of voter turnout, the Center for Immigration Studies projected that 52.7% (±0.6) of eligible Latinos would vote in the 2012 election, an increase from 49.9% in 2008 and a continuation of the past decade's long upward trend. The projected Latino voter participation rate of 52.7% compares to 66.1% for non-Latino whites and 65.2% for non-Latino blacks in 2008.[17]

In 2012, 70% of Latino voters identified with, or leaned toward, the Democratic Party, while 20% of Latino voters identified with, or leaned toward, the Republican Party.[18]

In 2014, Latinos cast 6.8 million ballots out of 25 million eligible voters, for a voter turnout rate of 27%.[19]

During the 2016 presidential election, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was supported by 57% of Cuban-American voters in Florida, while Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton received 40% of the vote[whose?].[20]

In 2018, 29.1 million Latinos were eligible to vote. 62% of Latino voters identified with, or leaned toward, the Democratic Party, whereas 27% of Latino voters identified with, or leaned toward, the Republican Party. Latino voters who primarily spoke English were more likely to support Republican candidates (33%), compared to voters who only spoke Spanish (15%).[21] In Florida, 66% of Cuban-Americans supported Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis, while only 33% supported Democrat gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, a 2 to 1 ratio for Republicans.[22]

According to a 2019 Gallup Poll, 29% of Latinos identify as conservative, and that same number, 29%, voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election.[23]

A 2021 Wall Street Journal poll found that if the 2022 United States elections were held immediately, 37% of Hispanic voters would back Republican nominees and 37% would back Democratic nominees, an even split. The poll also found that if the 2024 United States presidential election was held between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, 44% of Hispanics would back Biden and 43% would back Trump. These numbers were split more among gender, with 56% of Hispanic men and 30% of Hispanic women preferring Trump to Biden. By comparison, 33% of Hispanic men and 55% of Hispanic women prefer Biden to Trump. This marks a significant decline for Democrats from the 2020 election, where Biden won roughly 63% of Hispanic votes.[24]

Elections

Hispanic voters in Presidential elections
Presidential Elections Republican Democrat Ref.
1976 24% 74% [25]
1980 37% 56% [26]
1984 34% 66% [27]
1988 30% 69% [28]
1992 25% 61% [29]
1996 21% 72% [30]
2000 35% 62% [31]
2004 44% 54% [32]
2008 31% 67% [33]
2012 27% 71%
2016 29% 65% [34]
2020 36% 61% [1]

Key issues

In an October 2010 Pew Hispanic Center report, Latinos ranked education, jobs, and health care as their top three issues of concern, while immigration ranked as the fourth most important issue.[35]

In 2020, the economy, health care, and the COVID-19 pandemic were reported to be the top three most important issues for Latino voters.[36]

Opinion pieces that have appeared in magazines and websites such as FiveThirtyEight and The Atlantic have frequently argued that there is no such thing as a "Latino vote", as Hispanics do not tend to vote in a singular bloc.[37][38] Factors such as age, sex, religion, ethnicity, and immigration status can all significantly influence voting factors among Hispanics and Latinos.

Abortion

A 2009 Gallup poll found that 57% of Hispanics oppose abortion, more than any other group in the United States. Older Hispanics are more likely to oppose abortion than young Hispanics. Likewise, first-generation Hispanics are more likely to oppose abortion than second-generation Hispanics.

62% of Latinos who have immigrated to the U.S. support greater restrictions on abortion legality.[39]

Economy

In 2022, economic issues remain the primary concern for Hispanic voters. In a Wall Street Journal poll, Hispanic men stated that Republicans possessed better economic policy, by a margin of 17 points, while Hispanic women stated that Democrats had better economic policy, by a 10-point margin.[24]

Gun Control

According to a 2022 Pew Research Center poll, 54% of Hispanic Republicans and conservative-leaning independents find it more important to protect gun ownership rights than to control gun ownership. In comparison, 83% of non-Hispanic Republicans hold the same belief. [40]

Gender-neutral terminology

The use of the gender-neutral term "Latinx" is highly unpopular among Hispanic and Latino voters, with over 90% disliking the term.[41] The term has been used by prominent Democrat politicians such as Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; who have been widely mocked by many Republicans, Hispanics, and Latinos for its use.[42][43][44][45]

A 2021 poll found that 30% of Hispanic voters are less likely to vote for a politician who uses the term "Latinx". 68% of Hispanic voters prefer the term "Hispanic", while 21% of voters prefer the term "Latino". By comparison, only 2% of Hispanic voters embrace the term "Latinx". Furthermore, 40% of American Hispanics state that the term "Latinx" bothers or offends them.[46][47]

Timeline of events

Susana Martinez
Marco Rubio
Ted Cruz
Brian Sandoval
Alberto Gonzales
Carlos Gutierrez
Mel Martínez
Maria Salazar
Carlos Gimenez
Mike Garcia
Romualdo Pacheco
Octaviano Larrazolo

This is a timeline of significant events in Latino history which have shaped the conservative movement in the United States.

1860s
1870s
1880s
1890s
1900s
1910s
1920s
1960s
1970s
1980s
1990s
2000s
2010s

Politicians

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maryland

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Rhode Island

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Judges

Athletes and entertainers

Law

Science

Columnists, authors and journalists

Education and Business

Activists

See also

Further reading

References

  1. ^ "Hispanic voters and the 2018 midterm elections". Pew Research. 25 October 2018.
  2. ^ "US Census Press Releases". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  3. ^ "Hispanic voters and the 2018 midterm elections". Pew Research. 25 October 2018.
  4. ^ Cadava, Geraldo (2020). The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump. Ecco Press. p. 7.
  5. ^ Cadava, pp. 5-6
  6. ^ Cable, Robert (15 May 2020). "The Hispanic Republican". Stanford Humanities Center.
  7. ^ Aguilar, Alfonso (5 May 2010). "On Latinos, listen to the Gipper". Politico.
  8. ^ "Latinos and the political parties". Pew Research. 11 October 2016.
  9. ^ "The Cuban Paradox". Harvard University.
  10. ^ "Latinos and the political parties". Pew Research. 11 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Detailed Hispanic Origin: 2006" (PDF). Pew Hispanic Center. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  12. ^ "Hispanic voters and the 2018 midterm elections". Pew Research. 25 October 2018.
  13. ^ de la Garza, Rodolfo O.; Cortina, Jeronimo (March 2007). "Are Latinos Republicans But Just Don't Know It?: The Latino Vote in the 2000 and 2004 Presidential Elections". American Politics Research. 35 (2): 202–223. doi:10.1177/1532673X06294885. ISSN 1532-673X. S2CID 154127676.
  14. ^ Lopez, Mark Hung (November 5, 2008). "The Hispanic Vote in the 2008 Election". Pew Hispanic Center. Pew Research Center.
  15. ^ "Hispanic voters and the 2018 midterm elections". Pew Research. 25 October 2018.
  16. ^ Lopez, Mark Hugo (November 3, 2010). "The Latino Vote in the 2010 Elections". Pew Hispanic Center. Pew Research Center.
  17. ^ a b Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler, "Projecting the 2012 Hispanic Vote," Center for Immigration Studies, August 2012. Available at: http://cis.org/projecting-2012-hispanic-vote-nationally-battleground-states
  18. ^ "Hispanic voters and the 2018 midterm elections". Pew Research. 25 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Hispanic voters and the 2018 midterm elections". Pew Research. 25 October 2018.
  20. ^ "Republicans won the Florida Election but the Cuban-American Voters are Beginning to Vote Democrat". www.necn.com/news. NECN. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  21. ^ "Hispanic voters and the 2018 midterm elections". Pew Research. 25 October 2018.
  22. ^ "Republicans won the Florida Election but the Cuban-American Voters are Beginning to Vote Democrat". www.necn.com/news. NECN. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  23. ^ Parker, Star (13 March 2019). "Can Republicans Get Elected in Nonwhite America?". GOPUSA. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Zitner, Aaron (8 December 2021). "Hispanic Voters Now Evenly Split Between Parties, WSJ Poll Finds". The Wall Street Journal.
  25. ^ CBS News/New York Times interviews with 12,782 voters as they left the polls, as reported in The New York Times, November 9, 1980, p. 28, and in further analysis. The 1976 data are from CBS News interviews.
  26. ^ "How Groups Voted in 1980". ropercenter.cornell.edu. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  27. ^ "How Groups Voted in 1984". ropercenter.cornell.edu. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  28. ^ "How Groups Voted in 1988". ropercenter.cornell.edu. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  29. ^ Voter News Service exit poll, reported in The New York Times, November 10, 1996, 28.
  30. ^ "1996 Presidential Exit Polls Results". CNN.
  31. ^ "How Groups Voted in 2000". ropercenter.cornell.edu. Archived from the original on February 13, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  32. ^ "CNN.com Election 2004". CNN. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  33. ^ "National Exit Poll". CNN. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  34. ^ "Exit polls". CNN. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  35. ^ Statistics were obtained from CNN’s Election 2010 website and are based on the Edison Research’s national and state exit poll surveys of voters as reported on December 30, 2010.
  36. ^ Krogstad, Jens Manuel; Lopez, Mark Hugo (11 September 2020). "Hispanic voters say economy, health care and COVID-19 are top issues in 2020 presidential election". Pew Research.
  37. ^ Rakich, Nathaniel; Thomson-DeVeaux, Amelia (22 September 2022). "There's No Such Thing As The 'Latino Vote'". FiveThirtyEight.
  38. ^ Cadava, Geraldo L. (14 February 2022). "There's No Such Thing as 'the Latino Vote'". The Atlantic.
  39. ^ Isensee, Laura (13 July 2009). "Generational shift for U.S. Hispanics on abortion". Reuters.
  40. ^ Krogstad, Jens Manuel. "Latino Republicans hold distinct views on guns and immigration, highlighting their shaky ties to GOP". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 2023-04-01.
  41. ^ Tallet, Olivia P. (26 January 2021). "Over 90% of Hispanics and Latinos don't like to be called Latinx". Houston Chronicle.
  42. ^ Keene, Houston (25 June 2021). "Biden criticized for using woke term 'Latinx' in comments about 'equity' in COVID-19 vaccinations". Fox News.
  43. ^ Lee, Michael (6 June 2022). "AOC accuses people of creating drama over the word 'Latinx' despite overwhelming opposition to the term". Fox News.
  44. ^ Nuño-Pérez, Stephen; Aviles, Gwen (7 March 2019). "Is 'Latinx' elitist? Some push back at the word's growing use". NBC News.
  45. ^ Hochman, Nate (6 December 2021). "Politico Poll: 40 Percent of Hispanics Find 'Latinx' Offensive". National Review.
  46. ^ Sesin, Carmen (6 December 2021). "'Latinx' can be 'counterproductive' among Hispanic voters, poll finds". NBC News.
  47. ^ Torregrosa, Luisita Lopez (14 December 2021). "Many Latinos say 'Latinx' offends or bothers them. Here's why". NBC News.
  48. ^ "Carlos Gonzalez (New Hampshire)".
  49. ^ a b c d e Moreno, Carolina (27 August 2012). "LOOK: Are These Latino Celebs Republicans?". Huffington Post.
  50. ^ Moreno, Carolina (27 August 2012). "LOOK: Are These Latino Celebs Republicans?". Huffington Post.
  51. ^ "CESAR ROMERO, actor, singer, dancer, film, radio and TV personality. (Cuban descendant) ** Cesar Romero, actor, cantante, bailarín, personalidad de la radio, cine y TV. (Descendencia cubana) | the History, Culture and Legacy of the People of Cuba".
  52. ^ "Republican Nominee Bush Works Hard for Latino Vote". ABC News. 2006-01-06.