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Photo: voters go to the polls on Super Tuesday 2008 in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights. Gettty.
Voters go to the polls on Super Tuesday 2008 in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights. Photo: Getty

4 key facts about Latinos before the midterm elections

New statistics show the demographic changes and trends within the Latino community, one of the key populations in November's midterm elections.

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Much has been said in recent months about the decisive force that the Latino community represents when it comes to generating a political change in the United States.

From figures that put Hispanics in favor of Trump to data of minimal political participation, deciphering this community has been a focus of national debate, especially in the face of vital elections to contain the administrative disaster that emanates from the White House.

Thanks to a study recently published by the Pew Research Center, we find four key facts about Latinos in the preamble of the mid-term elections.

A declining participation

Of the more than 29 million eligible Latino voters nationwide (12.8 percent of the total voting population), participation in elections has decreased to 27 percent (in 2014, for example, only 6.8 million Hispanics voted), and the least willing population to exercise their right is among young people between 18 and 35 years old. Paradoxically, as the years go by, Hispanic demographics do nothing but grow, and between 2014 and 2018 “an additional 4 million Hispanics became eligible voters.

Many Latinos in very few states

According to the report, the states with the highest Hispanic concentration are California (7.7 million), Texas (5.4), Florida (3.0) and New York (2.0), while in states like Pennsylvania, the population adds half a million eligible voters. However, during recent years, states such as North Dakota have seen an increase in the Hispanic population of up to 30 percent, demonstrating a significant displacement of the community towards the interior of the country.

California and Texas are key

Between these two states, 80 percent of all eligible Latino voters are concentrated, with at least 176 congressional districts that have 50,000 eligible voters each, and Texas’ 20th District has the largest number of Latino voters in the country, around 357,000.

The irony of the South

States that are frequently considered as more closed, conservative and deeply Republican have a strong Hispanic population that keeps growing as the years go by. Kentucky, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, and Tennessee now have an average of 30 percent of Latinos eligible to vote. In the same way, districts like the 8th and 5th in North Carolina, and the 6th and 16th in Florida, saw a growth of more than 70 percent in Hispanic voters.

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