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Report: Latino vote unlikely to be critical in midterm elections

Latino voters are less likely than other groups to turn out for midterm elections, with fewer than a third taking part in the 2010 election, a report said.

By Frances Burns
Report: Latino vote unlikely to be critical in midterm elections
Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) speaks, as Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) looks on, at a press conference concerning the Obama campaign's proposed outreach to Hispanic voters in Washington on July 29, 2008. (UPI Photo/Jack Hohman) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- While Latinos are a growing share of eligible voters in the United States, they are unlikely to be a critical factor in the midterm elections, the Pew Research Center said.

Democrats are fighting to keep control of the Senate. But in six of the eight states with close races this year, Latinos make up less than 5 percent of the electorate.

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Nationally, 10.7 percent of eligible voters are Latino. In Colorado, where Democrat Mark Udall is fighting to keep his seat, Latinos are 14.2 percent of the electorate, making it the only state with a competitive Senate race where their share is above the national average.

Pew also found that Latinos are less likely to vote in midterm elections than other groups. In 2010, 31.2 percent of eligible Latino voters made it to the polls, compared to 48.6 percent of whites and 44 percent of black voters.

Democrats currently hold 53 seats in the Senate while two independents, Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, caucus with the party. Republicans need a net gain of six seats for a majority.

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Pew found that in the 14 House districts with competitive races, the average of the Hispanic share of the electorate is above the national average at 13.6 percent. But in six of those districts it is below 5 percent, while in some others it is far larger. In the Florida's 26th District, 62 percent of eligible voters are Latino.

In any case, the Republican Party is almost certain to keep control of the House.

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