Projecting the 2012 Hispanic Vote

Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler, Center for Immigration Studies, August 2012

Using Census Bureau data, this report projects the share of Hispanic voters nationally and in battleground states for the upcoming 2012 election. Based on past trends, including growth in the adult Hispanic citizen population, we project that the Hispanic share of the nation’s electorate will increase by 1.5 percentage points, from 7.4 percent in 2008 to 8.9 percent in the 2012 election. Also, we find that Hispanics will be a somewhat smaller share of voters in battleground states than of the overall electorate. However, there is significant variation in the Hispanic share across battleground states.

National Share of the Vote

  • We project that in November 2012 Hispanics will comprise 17.2 percent of the total U.S. population, 15 percent of adults, 11.2 percent of adult citizens, and 8.9 percent of actual voters.
  • In 2012, non-Hispanic whites are expected to be 73.4 percent of the national vote and non-Hispanic blacks are expected to be 12.2 percent.
  • To place the Hispanic share of the electorate into perspective, eight percentage points of the Hispanic vote nationally equals slightly less than one percentage point of the non-Hispanic white vote.
  • The 8.9 percent Hispanic share of voters compares to veterans (12 percent of the electorate), those with family incomes above $100,000 (18 percent), seniors 65 and older (19 percent), married persons (60 percent), and those who live in owner-occupied housing (80 percent).
  • In terms of voter turnout, we project that 52.7 percent (± 0.6) of eligible Hispanics will vote in the upcoming election, an increase from 49.9 percent in 2008 and a continuation of the past decade’s long upward trend.
  • The projected Hispanic voter participation rate of 52.7 percent compares to 66.1 percent for non-Hispanic whites and 65.2 percent for non-Hispanic blacks in 2008.

Share in Battleground States

  • In the seven states listed by The Cook Political Report in July as “toss-ups”, we project that Hispanics will average 8.0 percent of voters in 2012, compared to 8.9 percent nationally. The seven toss-up states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia.
  • In the four states listed by Cook as “leaning” toward one party or the other, the Hispanic vote will average 2.8 percent of the electorate in November. The four leaning states are Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.
  • In the seven states Cook identifies as “likely” for one party or the other, Hispanics will average 9.8 percent of the vote. Excluding New Mexico, they will average 4.4 percent of voters in the remaining six “likely” states. The likely states are Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Maine, Minnesota, and New Mexico.
  • Taken together Hispanics will average 7.6 percent of the electorate in the “toss-up”, “leaning”, and “likely” states. If we combine the populations of these states and calculate the Hispanic share of the electorate, Hispanics are projected to be 6.6 percent of the vote.
  • The Hispanic share of voters varies significantly in the 18 battleground states. In 12 of the 18 states, Hispanics are projected to be less than 4 percent of the electorate (Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, and Maine). But in four of the states (New Mexico, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona), Hispanics will be more than 16 percent of the vote.
  • Non-Hispanic whites are projected to be slightly overrepresented (79.4 percent) in battleground states relative to their share of the national electorate. Like Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks (9.4 percent) tend to be slightly underrepresented in battleground states.

[Editor’s Note: The remainder of the report can be read at the original article link below.]

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  • crystal evans

    I think that the Latino vote has been overrated but within the next decade or two, when the anchor babies come of age, there may be many more vote eligble Hispanics. The question is will they register to vote? Also, if any immigration reform is successful and many of today’s Dreamers and their parents become citizens, they are more than likely to register and vote because of their activism in trying to get the Dream Act passed.

  • Church_of_Jed

    What will be the real impact of the Hispanic vote?,

    you ask, but don’t ever ask to see a breakdown of the voting patterns comparing the rich, light skinned, beautiful Castilian-Hispano Mexican legal immigrants to those of the dark skinned, blood thirsty Aztec, border jumping, American hating, illegal and invading LaRaza Reconquista army.

    • The__Bobster

      9% of Mexicans are White, but most of them stay put, as they are the upper class.

      • crystal evans

        That is true. The majority of Mexican illegals are indegenous Mexicans from Southern Mexico and Mestizos who represent the lower class in Mexico.

        • haroldcrews

          As the ‘Reconquista’ progresses I can see the white Mexicans immigrating to retain their position on top of Mexican society above the border.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we aren’t already seeing this in Southern California.

          • GravitonX

             The Anglo caste system is a failure and will collapse on itself led by the historic Anglo character flaw of hubris.  You’ve had hundreds of years to integrate and assimilate BlackAmericans, a people who have been their longer than almost every other group, and passed on the opportunity.  You’ve succeeded in nothing more than making them bitter enemies.  You will not find this level of animosity and resentment anywhere else in the hemisphere as many of the indigenous and mixed-indigenous feel related to Spain.  Also, the fact that there was a period in which many in South America were doing better than Spain dulls resentment.  We keep a low profile and embrace them as part of the metropoli,  Now, you deal with a population that not only has 0% support for you but has an deep understanding of how the systems of this country work, and from my perspective, better than you.  If given the choice, I’m sure they would rather choose the Spanish model with all it’s flaws over the Anglo model, and I think that’s what’s behind their shift to alliance with Hispanics, one that will be more beneficial to them.

    • GravitonX

      I’m amused by your romanticized and wholly inaccurate understanding of Spain.  My mother is from León, the heart of Castilla y León.  It is not a rich region, but most did not emigrate to America.  Most of the emigrants to America came from even poorer regions, mostly from Galicia, in the North, people who we call gallegos, and many from basque country, vascos.  There were many waves of emigration from Spain and all differ in who left.

      • Church_of_Jed

        Did any light, bright Spaniards emigrate to Mexico?

  • IKantunderstand

    You know, I’m serious, as soon as an article starts referring to non hispanic whites, I lose it. Do NOT define me by what I am not.My people were here first. Who the hell do they think they are? If you need this distinction, then it should be:” White”. And then, “People who consider themselves White for some inexplicable reason and speak spanish.” Please check the appropriate box.

    • crystal evans

      There are people from Spain who are European and white, Many Argentines are white as well as Puerto Ricans and Cubans.

      • Right….except those are not the “hispanics” jumping our border.

      • GravitonX

         We are also naturally Socialist and left of your Democratic party. 

    • Sherman_McCoy

      How about “white” or “mestizo admixture?”

    • GravitonX

       I’m Spaniard and do not wish to be confused with Anglo.  The distinction works for me.

      • IKantunderstand

        Yeah, ok.  I’m Anglo, and way more people in this country are Anglo (and by Anglo, I mean White, cause I’m pretty sure that’s how GravitonX means it. He doesn’t care about distinctions of White people, other than their ability to speak Spanish as their native tongue) than Spanish.  So, back to what I said: why should the MAJORITY of Whites in this country have to define themselves as “NON” anythings??????   Oh, and GravitonX, were the first 9 models smarter?

  • Sherman_McCoy

    Because it is that close.

    • MrGJG

       Whether or not the GOP actively cares about working whites is debatable. The fact that  the democrats actively work against working whites isn’t.
      It’s not an accident that while you watch the Republican convention, the faces you see look like you and that to me, makes the decision a no-brainer.

      •  This.  Republicans don’t care about workers, everyone knows that.  Some white working people are still deluded into thinking that Democrats care about them.

  • Jorge Ramos of Univision had the audacity to say that Hispanics determine who wins elections.  Of course he would say that, because he wants it to be true, and he wants as many people as possible to believe the falsehood because that will in a power of suggestion sense make it true.  Big Lie repeated over and over again.

    As this says, states that are already solidly red or blue are the states where the Hispanic share of the vote is larger.  It is the light red, swing and light blue states where the Hispanic share of the vote is miniscule.

    If only 6.6% of the vote in swingable states is Hispanic, and Hispanics give 60% minimum 80% maximum of their vote to Democrats, this means only 20% of the Hispanic vote is swingable.  20% times 6.6% is 1.32%.  This means that Jorge Ramos stakes the entire fate of American politics on 1.32% of the electorate in the sum total of several states.

    As an aside, I have personally guesstimated that only one half of one percent of the American national electorate consists of swingable Jewish voters, and the two swingable states where they come close to having anything close to electoral college map leverage are Florida and Nevada.  NY and CA are already deep blue, not because of Jewish voters, but because of blacks and Hispanics in the case of New York and Hispanics and left wing doctrinaire gentile whites in the case of California.

    If I might be so audacious to stretch the point, one working class white voter somewhere between Pennsylvania and Minnesota has more sway over who gets to be President than all the Hispanic and Jewish voters in American combined.