WCVI 2008 Latino Vote Research and Analysis

"The Latino Vote in 2008: Trends and Characteristics"

by Antonio Gonzalez, President, and Steven Ochoa, Vice President of Public Policy and Research

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Executive Summary

In 2008, the Latino electorate grew to an estimated 12,148,790 registered voters and cast an estimated 9,701,288 votes in the November Presidential election, according to the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI). This represents a 79.85% turnout figure for Latino registered voters. Latinos also represented 7.43% of all votes cast in the United States in November.

Absentee and Election Day flash polls conducted by WCVI also show that record breaking Latino turnout decisively favored Illinois Senator Barak Obama over Arizona Senator John McCain in the Presidential Election. WCVI Latino voter polls show Senator Obama was supported by a 68.6% to 28.7%. This finding was echoed by the CNN National exit poll which found a 67% to 31% spread between Obama and McCain.

According to WCVI’s analysis of official election returns, three patterns of voting occurred in the Presidential elections:

  1. Racially polarized voting predominated in seven of nine “purple” states that voted for Democrat Obama in 2008 after voting for Republican Bush in 2004. In these states, minority block voting for Obama overcame White block voting for McCain. Latino block voting was decisive in Obama’s victory in New Mexico . Black block voting was decisive in Obama’s victories in Ohio , Florida , Virginia , and North Carolina . Blacks and Latino block voting collectively was decisive in Obama’s victories in Nevada and Indiana . In Colorado and Iowa , Barack Obama won all ethnic groups – including Whites.
  2. Non-racially polarized voting predominated in the 19 “blue states” that voted for Obama in 2008 and Kerry in 2004. In 16 out of 19 of these “blue states” all major racial/ethnic groups voted for Senator Barack Obama. In three states – Maryland , New Jersey , and Pennsylvania Whites voted along racially polarized lines for Sen. John McCain. However the margin they gave McCain was more than counterbalanced by the margin minorities gave Obama;
  3. Racially polarized voting predominated in all 22 “red” states that voted for McCain in 2008 and then-incumbent George Bush in 2004. White block voting for Republicans McCain and Bush overwhelmed minority block voting for Democrats Obama in 2008 and Kerry in 2004.

More broadly, aggregate data analysis shows that dramatic increases in minority voting that was more polarized for Obama in 2008 than Kerry in 2004. Conversely the data shows more modest increases in White voting that was less polarized for McCain in 2008 than it was for Bush in 2004.

When analyzed through partisan lenses, Democratic voting expanded significantly in 2008 compared to 2004, while Republican voting declined modestly.

Download the Entire Report here (PDF File)

For more information contact Steven Ochoa at 323.222.2217

 
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Antonio Gonzalez On the Airwaves
Antonio Gonzalez On the Airwaves