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Latino Voters and U.S. Presidential Elections: A Demographic and Spatial Analysis of a Growing Ethnic Group's Political Power Open Access

In the United States the growing Latino population is often referred to as the "sleeping giant" of electoral politics due to the group's significant size. After the 2012 Presidential elections some argued that the 'sleeping giant' had finally awakened. This work analyzed the validity of this claim by looking at national Latino electoral participation from the 1990's to the present, concentrating on measures of electoral participation and influence of Latino voters. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the ANES Survey at the national level, this work then focused on two states, Arizona and Nevada, to assess the changing influence of Latinos and Latino voters on state elections. The findings of this work establish that the electoral power of Hispanics in presidential elections has been overstated and overestimated. It additionally shows that in the future the influence and political power of this ethnic group will register a significant growth, which might cause substantial electoral and political shifts favoring the Democratic Party if current trends continue. Although, at the same time this projected political growth is greatly dependant on an increase of Hispanic voter registration in the future.

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