Sunday, June 6, 2010

With Election Day Coming...

Well, it's been a while since I last checked in.  But I'm back and happy to be here.

With the California state primary election only a couple days away (June 8, 2010) I thought I would dedicate this post to the California Latino electorate.  This topic is especially appropriate given all the activity taking place in Arizona relative to SB1070 and the fact that the Bank serves the Latino (mostly Mexican-American) niche.  I was curious what role Latino voters would have on the outcomes in California.  I was both impressed and depressed by the actions of the Latino electorate.

My research is based on the 2010 Latino Electoral Profile Report issued by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund.


My first question was to determine the Party of Choice of Latino voters.  While many believe that Latinos are mostly registered democrats, the fact is that Latinos back both sides of the aisle.  Yes, the percentage of Latino democrats outnumbers Latino republicans by a ratio of three-to-one.  However, the percentage of Latino republicans is still substantive.  According to the NALEO report, registered Latinos are 58% democrat, 19% republican and the remainder decline to state or have another party affiliation.

Interestingly, non-Latino registered voters are also more likely to be democrats, though the differences are not nearly as wide.  Among non-Latino registered voters, 41% are registered democrats and 34% are registered republicans.


Having seen the percentages, my next question was the impact that registered Latinos had on elections.  I found some interesting data.  According to the NALEO report, there are 16.5 million registered voters in California of which 19% are registered Latino voters.  In Fresno, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Sacramento counties, Latino voters comprise 30%, 28%, 27% and 23%, respectively, of total registered voters.  That is a powerful segment in those communities.  In other counties the percentages are fairly small.


But of course, as with anything else, the proof is in the pudding.  And with any voting block, it doesn't matter if you are registered to vote, it only matters if you vote.  And there is the problem.  According to the report, while Latinos represent a significant portion of voters - especially among those four counties noted above, Latinos are significantly more likely to skip the polls than their non-Latino counterparts. 

Election analysts used terms such as High Propensity, Mid Propensity and Low Propensity to label groups' likelihood to vote on election day.  According to the data, 55% of registered Latino voters are likely to skip the polls compared to only 41% of non-Latino registered voters.  And only 27% are likely to make it to the polls, rain or shine, compared to 42% of non-Latino registered voters.

The NALEO report contained much more information.  I encourage anyone with an interest in this segment to download it.

At the end of the day, it seems that the Latino electorate is well positioned to have an impact on the 2010 elections.  The key is to get the voters to the poll.  Hmmmm, any ideas?

Latino or non-Latino, get to the polls this week.  Assert your right to vote.  Make yourself count!