Latino voters grow in number, political importance

Voters go to the polls for Super Tuesday primaries in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights on February 5, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

With the election now over, pollsters are now combing through the data that reveal who voted and what messages they were sending to the political establishment.

According to Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the polling firm Gallup, Americans based their decisions this year on the economy, jobs, the deficit, and fixing government.

Those results are to be expected, says Newport. More surprisingly, according to Newport, was the high turnout among Latino voters, the majority of whom favored President Obama. Newport says that trend "really shows a glimpse into the future because that is a group in the American population that is going to increase in size and increase in its political importance at the same time."

Many political watchers say, going forward, republicans have to refocus their message in an effort to connect more broadly with Latino voters. Newport adds, "They are going to have to figure out a way of dealing with demographics, as somebody once said, 'demographics are destiny'."

Pew Research Center's Exit Poll Analysis on the 2012 Election:

About the author

Frank Newport, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief at Gallup and appears regularly on Marketplace.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...