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Inside the early vote numbers: The Latino vote

President Obama in Las Vegas

Whenever anyone tries to predict this year’s election by looking at what happened two or four or eight years ago, remind them that we always look forward, not backward.

The electorate has changed, and our registration and turnout operation has changed with it. In 1984 and 1988, just 3% of voters were Latino. That tripled over the next 20 years, growing to 9% of the electorate in 2008. Today, the Latino community is playing a key role in our diverse, grassroots movement to re-elect President Obama. Voter registration among Latinos in North Carolina is up 55% since 2008, up 20% in Colorado, and up 15% in Nevada. And in all three states, Latinos make up a larger percentage of early voters than they did at this time four years ago.

Last Saturday in Nevada we kicked off early vote with a Latinos for Obama Early Vote Taquiza. Hundreds gathered in a community park in Las Vegas to enjoy food and music before marching behind a mariachi band to their early vote site. On Tuesday, hundreds of students, many of them Latino, rallied at UNLV to listen to National Campaign Co-Chair Eva Longoria and then vote.

In Colorado, former Denver Mayor Federico Peña, Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, and nearly 100 fired-up Latinos held a Mail It In, Make Your Voice Heard event. Mayor Peña and Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio then spoke with entrepreneurs about all President Obama has done to support them, including cutting small business taxes 18 times.

What will grassroots work like this mean on November 6th? More Latinos will vote this year than ever before—both in raw numbers and as a percentage of the electorate in battleground states. President Obama will win both the largest number of Latino votes of any presidential candidate ever, and he’s currently winning the largest share of the Latino vote of any presidential candidate in 16 years.

Here are some more numbers to keep in mind:

  • Latinos make up the fastest-growing share of the electorate, and comprise a bigger share of early voters today than at this point in 2008.

  • President Obama has greater support among Latinos than he did in 2008, and Mitt Romney has much less support than John McCain drew four years ago. As a result, today the President is leading by as much as 51 points among Latino voters.

  • In Florida, early voting among Latino Democrats and Independents is way up, while early voting among Latino Republicans is down compared with this point four years ago.

  • Since the last presidential election, the total number of registered Latinos in Florida has increased by more than 195,000, and 91% registered as Democrats and Independents. Just 9% of these new registrants registered as Republicans.

We’re excited to have earned the overwhelming support of the Latino community, who knows President Obama is fighting for them every single day by creating an economy built to last for all Americans, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or what your last name is. We know that we’ve come too far to turn back now, and together, we’re moving this country forward.

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