New, Latino Voters Could Have "Whoa" Effect on Election Day | Connecticut Public Radio

New, Latino Voters Could Have "Whoa" Effect on Election Day

Oct 25, 2016

As Election Day approaches, voter registration has soared throughout the country. And according to the Pew Research Center the electorate this year will be the country’s most racially and ethnically diverse ever. The number of eligible Hispanic voters alone has jumped 17 percent since 2012. 

Latino voters have some harsh criticism for both parties.

On the Democratic side, the Obama administration has deported a record number of undocumented immigrants, while Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made building a wall along the Mexican border a central component of his campaign. The question is, will these issues promote strong voter turnout among the country’s 27 million eligible Latino voters?

Appearing on WNPR’s Where We Live Maria Hinojosa, journalist and host of NPR's Latino USA, said a large number of Latino voters are also new.

"So right now, millennials make up almost half of all eligible Latino voters in 2016," she said. "Millennials make up a larger share among Latino eligible voters than any other group in 2016. So that’s like, whoa." 

Hinojosa said multiple interests and motivations add to the complexity of Latino voters, including here in Connecticut.

"You have Puerto Ricans who have been in Connecticut for decades, but they are born American citizens," she said. "You have new arrivals into smaller towns, maybe they’re already second generation and their interests might be a little bit different than Puerto Rican voters."

There are currently 280,000 eligible Hispanic voters in Connecticut.