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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Latino Voting Power – The Results are In

Latino Voting Power – The Results are In

LatinaLista — Did Latinos wield considerable voting strength in this month’s election, or not?

Were Latinos the pivotal factor in deciding who kept the congressional office or who was sent packing?

Should Democrats be indebted to Latinos for winning their elections?

No, yes, maybe.

The latest Pew Hispanic Center factsheet titled Latinos and the 2006 Mid-term Election attempt to make sense of the national exit poll data.

Though the report admits that it’s impossible to exactly say just how significant was the Latino voter turnout, there are a few crystal points:

Latinos voted heavily in favor of Democratic candidates. According to the factsheet:

The 2006 national exit poll showed that in elections for the U.S. House of Representatives 69% of Latinos voted for Democrats and 30% for Republicans. An analysis of exit polls in Senate and gubernatorial races around the country that produced a national estimate revealed essentially the same partisan preference. Meanwhile, exit polls conducted in eight states with large Hispanic populations by the William C. Velazquez Institute, a non-partisan think tank, estimated that Latino voters favored Democrats 67% to 29% in congressional races nationwide.

Overall, there was an 11 percent swing towards the Democrats.

Yet, Democrats shouldn’t get too comfortable in thinking Latinos will blindly support them either.

The 2006 National Exit Poll revealed that among Hispanic voters, 69 percent voted Democrat while 30 percent voted Republican. Among white voters, 47 percent voted Democrat while 51 percent voted Republican. Only Black voters almost thoroughly support Democrats with 89 percent voting for them and 10 percent voting Republican.

If ever there was evidence that Latino voters look beyond party lines to the actual issue, these numbers appear to show it — and underscore the greater strength that Latino voters already possesses:

The capacity to think and reason instead of blindly following the crowd.

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