LatinaLista -- The initial analyses of Latino voter turnout in last night's midterm elections are filtering in and there's an overriding consensus being developed -- Latino voters turned out, in some races, in unprecedented numbers for a midterm election and it made a difference.
According to election eve polling by Latino Decisions, Latino turnout increased from 2006 to 2010 in double digits.
In Nevada, in the hotly contested race between Sen. Harry Reid and Sharron Angle, Latinos comprised 15 percent of the total electorate - giving Reid 90 percent of the Latino vote.
An analysis by New Policy Institute
Quite literally, Reid has Latino voters to thank for keeping his seat in the Senate.
But the Nevada race wasn't the only state where Latino voters answered their civic call.
The Pew Hispanic Center released today The Latino Vote in the 2010 Elections report.
They report that overall while Latino voters helped Democrats like Reid win, more also voted Republican, compared to 2006.
National House exit poll results show that Democrats had a nearly two-to-one advantage -- 64% vs. 34% -- over Republicans in U.S. House races among Latino voters.
It's an ironic reality given the fact that those Latinos who won a high office like governor or senator were Latino Republicans.
Yet, an interesting finding by Latino Decisions shows that these Latino GOP didn't necessarily garner more of the Latino vote.
For example, in New Mexico, the winner Susana Martinez only got 38 percent of the Latino vote while her Democratic opponent received double that amount -- 61 percent.
In Florida, it was a different story. Republican Marco Rubio sailed to victory on the votes of Florida's Cuban-American constituency. However, Cuban-Americans, who heavily populate the state, have always identified more with Republicans and have voted accordingly.
In hindsight, if two observations were to be made about last night's elections:
1. Latino candidates are showing they have enough cross-over appeal and acceptance to win without the Latino vote.
2. The "Sleeping Giant" has truly awoken and there's no holding it back any longer.
Andres Ramirez of New Policy Institute has created an initial analysis of the Latino share of the electorate in some races last night. What is clearly shown (in the above graphics) is that all the hype about Latinos being so disillusioned they wouldn't turn out was nothing but a nasty rumor to probably discourage Latino voters from even trying.
As the graphics illustrate, there is only direction Latinos are moving -- forward.