Is The Latino Vote This Year’s “October Surprise”?

Via the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project:


The recently released study on Latino voting by Pew Hispanic Center sends a signal to all interested in Latino empowerment that it’s time to re-double our efforts to turn out our community to vote. 

It’s also important to realize that these national studies are not necessarily true in mega-states like California –which have their own predominant state trends. 

We fully expect Latino voting to be record breaking (around 2 million votes cast!) in California as hot gubernatorial and senate elections as well as extremely important ballot measures plus intensive community based organizing is expected to drive participation. 

Regarding Pew’s study –it confirms what was already apparent to any Latino community leader worth his or her salt: namely Latinos are disappointed in Washington, DC’s lack of progress on job creation and legalization for undocumented workers –the top two issues for the community according to most surveys in 2010. 

Such disappointment typically doesn’t mean that traditionally Democratic-leaning Latinos switch to the Republicans instead it results in reduced enthusiasm, i.e. a lower rate of turnout. 

Nevertheless because the Latino registered voter total is so much greater than in 2006, I predict 2010 will see a record 6.5 million Latino votes cast, (or 1 million more than in November 2006). 

But I repeat, the antidote to this understandable “perdida de sangre” for DC is increased investment in grassroots voter mobilization efforts like those that SVREP is sponsoring is California, Arizona, and Texas.

Via America’s Voice Online:

[…] new polling released from Latino Decisions in twenty-one key states found that 72% of Latino voters think the Senate “should have passed” the DREAM Act as an amendment to the Defense authorization bill, while only 17% think the Republican Party’s successful efforts to block it were “the right thing to do.”  

The tracking polls show several important developments since September 20th – immediately before the DREAM debate in the Senate.  Latino voters now express a higher likelihood to vote in November, have increased their support for a generic Democratic candidate, and are more likely to believe that Democrats are working to pass immigration reform compared to the pre-DREAM debate polling.  Meanwhile, compared to the September 20th poll, Latino voters are now less likely to favor a generic Republican candidate and to believe that Republicans are working to pass immigration reform, while more likely to believe Republicans are trying to block reform. This could have major consequences in dozens of battleground races across the nation.

Read the rest of the analysis on America’s Voice Online.

Update: via The Washington Post.

Hispanic voters could have an outsize influence in a number of closely contested races next month, according to a report unveiled Tuesday by a nonpartisan Latino organization.

About 6.5 million Hispanic voters will likely cast their ballots this year, according to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials – nearly 1 million more than in the last midterm elections in 2006. The group derived its estimate by looking at the increase in Hispanic voter turnout in the past three congressional elections.

The voting bloc could have an impact in close races from Texas to Colorado, said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the group.

“Never before have we had so many tight contests at the state and federal levels in states where the Latino vote can make a difference,” he said. “I think it will make all the difference in 2010.”

Read the rest of The Washington Post article here.