Latino Voters in the 2012 Election

Latinos voted for President Barack Obama over Republican Mitt Romney 71% to 27%, according to an analysis of exit polls by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

Obama’s national vote share among Hispanic voters is the highest seen by a Democratic candidate since 1996, when President Bill Clinton won 72% of the Hispanic vote.

The Center’s analysis also finds that Latinos made up 10% of the electorate, as indicated by the national exit poll, up from 9% in 2008 and 8% in 2004. The Center’s exit poll analysis also shows that as a group, non-white voters made up 28% of the nation’s electorate, up from 26% in 2008.

Hispanics made up a growing share of voters in three of the key battleground states in yesterday’s election—-Florida, Colorado and Nevada. Hispanics made up 17% of the electorate in Florida, up from 14% in 2008. Obama carried Florida’s Hispanic vote 60% to 39%. In Colorado, Hispanics made up 14% of voters, up from 13% in 2008. Obama carried the Hispanic vote there 75% to 23%. Among voters in Nevada, the Hispanic share was 18%, up from 15% in 2008. Obama won Nevada’s Hispanic vote 70% to 25%. Obama’s Hispanic vote was up from 2008 in Florida and Colorado, but down in Nevada.

Among Latino voters, support for Obama was strong among all major demographic sub-groups. However, there was a gender gap among Hispanics as there was among the electorate as a whole. Obama carried Hispanic women with 76% of the vote and Hispanic males with 65%.

The analysis of exit polls in this report is limited to 12 states. These states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The report, “Latino Voters in the 2012 Election,” authored by Mark Hugo Lopez, associate director, and Paul Taylor, director, is available at the Pew Hispanic Center’s website,

For more on the changing demographics in the United States, see a new commentary released today by the Pew Social & Demographics Trends project. The commentary, “A Milestone En Route to a Majority Minority Nation,” notes that by 2050 the minority groups that carried President Obama to victory yesterday are on track to become a majority of the nation’s population, and that the Hispanic share of the U.S. population could be as high as 29%, up from 17% now.

The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, is a nonpartisan, non-advocacy research organization based in Washington, D.C. and is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

[From a news release]

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