In Georgia, the Latino share of the eligible electorate is greater than the difference in [pre-election] polling points between the two top U.S. Senate candidates. The same is true in Kansas, North Carolina and Iowa. Can we talk Colorado, where the Hispanic vote makes up 15.4% of the eligible electorate and is poised to decide the outcome in a major U.S. Senate race and House seat?
Yes, the Latino vote is here, growing and promising to decide key elections for years to come. The impact will be more isolated on Tuesday, not because Latinos have decided to sit out the election, but because most of the tightly competitive races for U.S. Senate, House and governorships are in states and gerrymandered House districts where Hispanic voters may not have enough numbers to influence the outcomes.
Still, even in states where politicians pay little attention to the relatively small number of Latino voters in their areas, some candidates have taken a spill when confronted with an important issue like immigration reform.
Also, it is now clear that, regardless of the outcome in the U.S. Senate race in Georgia, neither political party will ignore the Latino vote in 2016. During the last decade, the Latino vote has grown from 34,000 to 92,000 this year and makes up 1.8% of the Georgia electorate, according to Pew Research. While the percentage of the electorate is small, Latinos are poised to make a difference in the race, which remains tied.