UnidosUS and USC CCEP Latino Voter Briefs Provide Timely Insight on Key Electoral Districts as Nation Nears Midterms

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) and the University of Southern California’s California Civic Engagement Project (CCEP), released two briefs that examine the profile and potential impact of the Latino electorate in the upcoming midterm elections. The briefs, the first two in a series, take a deep dive into key electoral districts where Latino votes could make the difference.

Latinos make up approximately 13 percent of the U.S. electorate. In 2018 congressional competitive districts, 25 have a Latino citizen voting-age population (CVAP) of six percent or higher, and in 24 of those, the Latino CVAP was larger than the margin of victory between the top two candidates in 2016. Six of these districts were in California, with two each in Arizona and Florida and one in Colorado and New Mexico.

Still, data from recent elections highlight the challenges in terms of mobilizing Latinos to go to the polls. While significant, the Latino share of the 2016 vote in each of these congressional districts was still lower than the Latino share of the CVAP, leading to a significant representation gap.

“As the battle for control of Congress heats up, it is clear that Latino voters will be a determining factor in several key races. It is also clear that the impact of this electorate can be much greater, and voter registration and midterm mobilization need to be intensified. UnidosUS is working to bring more eligible Latinos to the voting booth. As for parties and campaigns, they need to engage these voters seriously. Candidates matter, issues matter, and meaningful outreach is essential,” said Clarissa Martinez De Castro, Deputy Vice President, UnidosUS.

“The study’s findings help inform Latino mobilization and education efforts by revealing the key voter hot spots where the Latino electorate can have a strong showing at the ballot box this November,” said Mindy Romero, director of the CCEP and the study’s author.