The Latino Voter: The New American Electorate

The economy was the number one issue of most Americans going to the polls in this past midterm election. In fact, a Gallup poll released on October 26, 2010 showed that the number one issue of 43% of voters was the economy. Where did illegal immigration fall? At the bottom, with 5% of voters thinking that this was a key issue. Then why did so many candidates in this year’s election make it the top issue? What this tells me is that those who cannot offer ideas on how to solve this economic problem turn to an issue that incites anger and blame, distracting from the real issue(s).

According to figures from the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, in 2008, 9.2% of eligible voters in the U.S. were Latino. As more and more Hispanics apply for and get U.S. Citizenship, the number of Latino eligible voters will rise, and politicians will have to listen. Important issues like job creation, education and health care, which are important to most voters, will take center stage, and those designed to distract, like immigration enforcement and English as the official language, will take a back seat. The vote is the most important right bestowed upon a US Citizen. And in a democracy, there is nothing louder then the silent casting of a vote.