Florida Latino Voters a Decisive Factor in Election, Says CLACLS/CNN en Español Report

March 10, 2016

Latino voters in Florida may decide which presidential candidates carry the state in the primaries - and who ultimately wins the 2016 general election, according to a new report from the GC's Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) and CNN en Español. 

Latino voters in Florida may decide which presidential candidates carry the state in the primaries - and who ultimately wins the 2016 general election, according to a new report from the GC's Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) and CNN en Español.

The report, "The Changing Demographics of Florida's Latino Electorate: Latino Party Affiliation and Voter Registration Rates in The State, Central Florida, And South Florida," is the third detailed analysis produced by the partnership between CLACLS and CNN en Español.
 
The analysis suggests that Latinos, whose population in the state soared between 1990 and 2014, are an increasingly powerful voting bloc. Latinos currently account for 25 percent of the Florida's population and 19 percent of its electorate.
 
"There is no question that Florida and its 29 electoral votes will be critical for the victory of either party in the November 2016 presidential election and that Latinos will play a decisive role in determining the outcome in the state," said Professor Laird Bergad (History), the author of the report and the director of CLACLS.
 
An examination of voter registration rolls reveals a clear shift away from the Republican Party since 2006, the report shows. A significantly larger percentage of Florida's Latinos register as Democrats or with no party affiliation. Many experts say that a Republican candidate can't win the 2016 presidential election without a victory in Florida.
 
Among the report's findings:

  • Latinos will play a critical role in determining the outcome in Florida because they will account for about 20 percent of all votes cast.
  • Latinos are highly likely to support the Democratic candidate by an even greater margin than they did in 2012, when the margin was 60 percent.
  • It will be very difficult for a Republican candidate to carry Florida because of the shift in the demographic structure, voter registration patterns, and presidential preferences among the state's Latinos.

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