/ Modified jun 4, 2013 12:07 p.m.

Latino Voter Turnout Lagged in 2012, Study Says

Pew Research Center: 48% of eligible Latinos cast ballots; total number going to polls down by 900,000 from 2008.

By John Rosman, Fronteras Desk

The Latino vote that helped usher President Barack Obama's reelection continues to grow, but overall turnout lags behind other voting groups.

A new report by the Pew Research Center found that 48 percent of eligible Latino voters turned out to vote in 2012.

Although Latinos made up a larger share of the nation’s electorate in 2012, making up 8.4 percent of all voters, they dropped in total voting numbers, down from 12.1 million in 2008 to 11.2 million in 2012.

Pew’s Mark Lopez said part of it has to do with geography.

“Many of the campaigns reached out to Hispanics in states like Nevada, like Colorado, like Florida – states that were battleground states. But half of Hispanic voters live in two states alone: Texas and California, and neither was a battleground in 2012,” Lopez said.

In Arizona, 18 percent of those voting in November 2012 were Latino, the study showed. That was a 50 percent increase from the 2004 presidential election and 12.5 percent higher than in 2008.

Seventy-four percent of Arizona Latinos voted for Obama in 2012, up from 56 percent in 2008, the Pew figures showed. The 2012 Latino vote for Obama in Arizona outpaced the national figure, which Pew reported was 71 percent of Latinos for Obama. The figures were based on exit polling.

According to the Pew report, the highest voter turnout was among those with a college degree, and from Cuban Americans. Latinos under 30 were among the least likely to vote.

The vote is likely to double by 2030, with many Latinos reaching eligible voting age in the coming years. The median age of native-born Latinos in the U.S. is 18, while the median age of non-Latino whites is 47.

Fronteras Desk is a collaborative of public broadcasting entities in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, including Arizona Public Media.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona