Latinos once again determined election outcomes in Arizona with massive turnout
The huge turnout from Latinos was imperative to many close races, including the AZ governor’s race.
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According to new projections from DJ Quinlan, a partner at Radar Strategies, and former executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party, roughly 400,000 Latinos voted in Arizona's midterm elections, and as a result, played a crucial role in the outcomes of many close races that went for Democrats, including the governor’s race.
The projections were first reported by The Arizona Republic.
The over 400,000 Latino voters account for 15.5% of the 2.6 million total votes cast in the state’s midterm elections, which is a 15% increase when compared to the state’s 2018 elections. Quinlan said that this was the third consecutive election where Latinos voted in record numbers never seen before.
Quinlan added that during the 2020 Presidential cycle, where usually voter turnout is significantly higher than midterms, about 570,000 Latinos voted and comprised over 18% of the total electorate that year in Arizona, which was up from 16% in 2016.
"We are now three elections in a row where the Latino turnout has functionally hit a record and where you've had very close races up and down the ballet that the Latino community was likely a deciding factor," Quinlan said. "Obviously, not the only deciding factor, but I think a really critical one."
Radar Strategies was able to determine these projections through a collaboration with Latino nonprofit, Chicanos Por La Causa, and a Latino voter outreach campaign. Campaign officials would not say if Democrat or Republican candidates ultimately benefited from the record number of Latino voters. Under IRS rules, the outreach campaign has to stay nonpartisan.
“The get-out-the-vote campaign was totally nonpartisan. We were about getting more Latinos to vote. Period. Who they voted for was up to them," said Joe Garcia, executive director of the Si Se Vota CPLC Action Fund, a 501c4 organization.
As for the record number of Latino turnout, Garcia credited it to the group's "Latino Loud" voter outreach campaign. He said the campaign increased Latino voter turnout by over 52,000 voters, which had newly registered voters and "low-propensity" voters — registered individuals who had not voted in the previous one or two elections.
Earlier this year, the NALEO Education Fund estimated that over 644,000 Latino voters would do so in Arizona's 2022 midterm elections. It’s a significantly larger figure than what was projected by Quinlan.
Quinlan responded and credited the huge disparity to the many distinct ways in which Latino voters are estimated.
He said that he uses a unique algorithm that examines county voter data rolls based on Latino surnames, first and middle names, and geography. As a result, it could very well miss voters who self-identify as Latino, but do not have Latino names or live in majority Latino areas and neighborhoods.
"I think our count is really a floor of what the Latino turnout is," Quinlan said.
According to Garcia, the idea behind the campaign was to not only increase Latino voter participation in 2022, but for future elections as well.
Latinos make up about 19% of registered voters in Arizona, according to the NALEO Education Fund.
The CPLC Action Fund also put $10 million of their own money into the Latino Loud campaign. Some of their efforts included door to door canvassing, a free concert at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix, and 3 million fliers mailed to homes in mostly Latino county’s such as Maricopa, Pima and Yuma.
According to the projections, Democrats benefited more than Republicans from the record number in Latino voters. Based on exit polls, Latino voters were more in favor of Democratic candidates than their GOP counterparts. Additionally, roughly 45% of Latino voters are registered as Democrats in the Grand Canyon state, in stark comparison to 28% for non-Latinos, according to the NALEO Education Fund.
While these projections represent all ages and both sexes, Garcia said the voter outreach campaign was also trying to hook in Latino youth.
NALEO also found that registered Latino voters are younger than non-Latino registered voters. The projections found that 17% of registered Latino voters were between 18 and 24, compared to just 7% for non-Latinos. Over 26% of Latino registered voters are 25-34 in comparison to 15% of non-Latinos.
On the contrary, 54% of non-Latino voters are ages 50 and over, compared to 32% of Latinos.
"We are the long game," Garcia said. "Even though we're very happy with what happened in terms of voter turnout in the 2022 election, that was not our our big push. Our big push is not even the 2024 elections, but all elections moving forward."