If for example you looked at today's release of The Purple Poll of 12 swing states - which included NM, CO, NV and FL - their sample included only 7% Latino voters.
I have been exploring the subject of the likely Latino vote, and that included an email exchange with Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions. He points out that NALEO, the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, are expecting a Latino turnout of 12.2 million.
In 2008 the total presidential vote was about 131.5 million, so this would represent a Latino share of a bit over 9%. Some argue that might be very low, but let us assume that it might be 10%, nationally, but of course it is more concentrated in some state than others.
Using this map from Latino Decision, I note the percentage it shows the shareof prospective Latino vote in swing and potential swing states, and if you click on the state you can see the % increase in Latino registration in the past 12 years:
ST % % Increase
AZ 20 72
CO 12 30
FL 17 66
IA 2 31
NV 15 117
NH 1 83
NC 3 117
OH 1 47
VA 2 76
WI 2 23
In an exceedingly close race, even with a low overall Latino share of voting, the increase of percent and how heavily it breaks for Obama could make a difference, for example, in NC - and remember that NC has 1-step registration and voting (and WI has same-day registration).
Normally the percentage of registered Latinos who vote is significantly lower than that of Whites, but that could change this year, especially in AZ, through things like "show me your papers" and because of the executive order implementing part of the Dream Act.
The Latino vote, especially with a Latino as the Democratic Senate nominee (although Carmona is Puerto Rican rather than Mexican in background) is one reason I think Arizona may, despite polling data, be in play. It is why I think Nevada is done for the President, and why I think he should be favored in Colorado, and no worse than even in Florida.
If you push me, I would say I think Latino votes may hit 13 million or even 14 million, Given that additional votes will break better than 2-1 for the President, I remain optimistic that the results in the electoral college will be more than sufficient.
What do you think?
THus in AZ, CO, FL and NV, the Hispanic vote is critical, and we know that it will break heavily to Obama, the main question being if it will turn out.