LatinaLista — With every poll that shows the gap between Obama and Romney narrowing, the value of the Latino vote cannot be underestimated. Yet, with conflicting spin coming out of each political camp about what Latinos do or don't want from the presidential candidates, narrow polls trying to prioritize 'Latino issues' and limited mainstream media coverage of the Latino electorate, it's no wonder most people are confused about Latino politics — even some Latinos.
To set the record straight, for at least this year, the United States Hispanic Leadership Initiative (USHLI) just released the 2012 edition of The Almanac of Latino Politics.
The free online almanac provides great detail on the 'state of Latinos' for each state.
The 2012 issue consists of two parts - eight chapters on national trends pertaining to population growth, registration and voting, immigration, and political jurisdictions at the state and federal levels; and individual profiles of all 50 states including elected officials, current political issues, social and business demographics, registered voters, and population by race, ethnic origin, ancestry groups, cities, counties, and voting age. A review of U.S. Senate seats and Governorships being contested in 2012 are also profiled.
Edited by Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr., the online site of the seventh edition of the annual reference tool highlights an interactive state map where basic facts are presented in a short and easy-to-read style.
For example, clicking on the state of Oklahoma, we find that 51 percent of Latinos own their own homes; English has been declared the 'official language' in the state; 71 percent are citizens; 50 percent of the Latino voters cast a ballot in 2010; and the number of Latino-owned businesses grew over a five-year period (2002-2007) by 41 percent — among many other facts.
The almanac is a good tool for anyone who really wants to know about Latino voters and the regional nuances that impact Latinos' political viewpoints. While the almanac does track past voting behavior, it's not a crystal ball to deliver the answer both political parties want to know so badly — will Latino voters come out to vote in November?