New data indicate massive increases in early voting among Latino voters in key states. And it is impacting election results where it matters. Latino support for Hillary Clinton is projected to exceed Latino support for Barack Obama in 2008.
In the aftermath of the 2012 election, Karl Rove took to the Wall Street Journal to warn Republicans that "more white votes alone" would not be enough to ensure future victories for the GOP.
It does not appear that they got the message.
Latino Decisions, the research firm that specializes in Latino political opinion and is known for especially reliable data due to bilingual interviews and large sample sizes, reports "heightened enthusiasm for voting in 2016 and record-high levels of support for Hillary Clinton."
In 2012, 11.2 million Latinos cast their ballots. In 2016, Latino Decisions projects up to 3.5 million additional Latino voters — putting their turnout at close to 15 million.
According to 2016 early vote return information analyzed by the data firm Catalist, compared to early turnout data from past elections, ballots from Latino voters are up significantly in key states:
- In Florida, early voting among Latinos has increased by 129 percent so far from 2008. (According to the Clinton campaign, 44 percent more Latinos have voted so far than voted early in 2012.)
- In Georgia, Latino early turnout has increased by 144 percent so far from 2012.
- In North Carolina, early voting among Latinos has increased 75 percent so far from 2012.
The Latino population is smaller in North Carolina and Georgia than Florida, but given how close the race is in all three states, Latino turnout could be pivotal.
According to Latino Decisions, high Latino turnout bodes very well for Clinton:
Latino Decisions also projects that 79 percent of Latinos will vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, 18 percent for Republican nominee Donald Trump, and the remaining three percent voting for other candidates. Clinton’s projected share is higher than...[the] 71 percent exit poll share Democrat Barack Obama received during his 2012 re-election bid.
Record-breaking turnout combined with record-high levels of support for Clinton is already impacting election results:
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, told donors on a conference call Thursday [November 3] that the campaign expected to win Florida and North Carolina in large part because of Hispanic turnout. In Nevada, a third diverse battleground state, Mr. Mook said he no longer saw a path for Mr. Trump to win there.
According to TargetSmart's latest polling, Clinton is maintaining a 28 point advantage among Latinos in Florida, compared to Obama's 21 point advantage in 2012. Jon Ralston, Nevada's preeminent election forecaster, says Democrats have built up an insurmountable lead in the state due in part to high Latino turnout in key precincts.
Karl Rove was right. More white votes alone will not ensure victory for the GOP. It looks like Latino voters are voting early to make sure of it.