Georgia’s Latino electorate continues to grow

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Jerry González
La Voz Latina

Georgia

The Latino electorate in Georgia continues to grow and increase. Data analysis indicates an electorate that will continue to evolve in importance in Georgia’s political arena.

Based upon the statewide voter data file and the analysis in this report as of January 2013, Latino voters have now reached 183,966, representing 3% of the electorate in Georgia. However, the electorate grew by over 37,975 new Latino voters since the 2008 report, representing a growth rate of 26%.

Nationally, the Latino vote grew by 1.4 million voters since 2008 reaching a record number of 11.2 million in 2012. However, the national Latino voter participation rate dropped to 48% from 2008’s rate of 49.9%. Similarly, in the state of Georgia the Latino voter participation rate dropped from 53.8% in 2008 to 47.1%, a rate drop of 6.7%.

Despite this drop however, in raw numbers, the Georgia election in 2008 produced 78,525 Latino votes, while the total number of Latino voters in 2012 was 86,666, which was an increase of 9.4%.

In June 2013, the U.S. Senate passed S.744, ‘‘Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act’’, with a bipartisan vote of 68-32. Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives has started to discuss their own intentions for immigration reform.

It is important to remember that the Latino electorate is paying close attention to the debate and outcome of Congressional debates and votes. Clearly, immigration is still an important issue, which has driven an increase in voter participation and engagement amongst the Latino voters in Georgia.

Most of the analysis of the 2012 presidential election indicates a rejection from Latino voters of harsh anti-immigrant policies and current polling of Latino voters indicates that the Latino electorate is still listening and watching the debate on immigration reform as it unfolds: “Latino voters firmly oppose excessive enforcement, border security, and punitive measures as part of comprehensive immigration reform. The survey of 500 Latino registered voters asked opinions on a wide range of specific policy measures that have been debated in Congress and finds overall that 81% of Latino voters reject the notion of “border-security-first” approach.”

As Georgia’s Congressional delegation begins to formulate…

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