February 3, 2016
Via Media Life Magazine
You didn’t see it in the recent caucuses in Iowa, where Hispanics make up only 5 percent of the state population, but over the next few months you will.
The Latino vote will be a huge factor in the 2016 general election.
Analysts say for a Republican candidate to win, they will need to capture 40 percent of the Hispanic vote.
That’s a tall order. In the 2012 election, Mitt Romney got 27 percent, and in 2008, John McCain captured 31 percent.
This year’s Hispanic voters will look a little different than in the past. They skew younger than ever, and there’s a large chunk of recently naturalized citizens who have not voted in past elections.
Here’s a breakdown of the Hispanic voters in the 2016 election, along with a look at what Hispanic media are doing to encourage voter involvement in this election.
There are 27.3 million Hispanic U.S. citizens eligible for this year’s election, a record high, according to Pew Research Center.
Almost half, 44 percent, of these voters are Millennials ages 18-34. The second-biggest group, at 26 percent, are Gen Xers.
The average age of U.S.-born Hispanics is 19, and it will continue to remain low over the next two decades, with a huge boom in population.
Five percent, meanwhile, of Hispanic voters are newly naturalized citizens, who number 1.3 million.
Overall, Hispanics will account for 11.9 percent of eligible voters for the 2016 election, slightly less than African-American voters (12.4 percent).
Yet being eligible to vote is one thing. Actually coming to the polls is quite another, as the 2012 election proved.
Among eligible Millennial voters four years ago, 61.8 percent came to the polls. But just 48 percent of eligible Hispanic Millennials turned out.
That’s part of why we’ll see a major effort from Hispanic media organizations to get voters registered and informed.
The language barrier can make registration intimidating and confusing. While many Millennials speak English, not all of them do, and older, naturalized citizens often prefer Spanish.
A number of networks have voter registration drives planned. Telemundo-owned stations are holding voter registration drives across the country; the first took place over the weekend in Los Angeles.
Univison’s Univision Contigo helps people online register to vote.
And Azteca America has held phone banks to help answer questions about voter registration for Latinos, and its nonprofit arm, Fundacion Azteca America, has partnered in the past with Voto Latino for voter fund-raising and awareness campaigns.