HISPANIC/LATINO VOTE DECISIVE IN KEY BATTLE GROUND STATES
Hispanic/Latino Republican Candidates Make Historic Gains
Washington, DC –Strong Hispanic/Latino voter turnout in key battle ground states has demonstrated once again that the growing Hispanic population is having an increasingly profound impact on US elections. Hispanic/Latino Republicans in particular combined strong support from conservatives and Hispanic/Latino voters to win 2 new governorships, 4 new house seats, and a new senate seat more than doubling the number of Republican Hispanics in Congress and giving our nation 3 Republican Hispanic Governors for the first time.
Overall Hispanic/Latino voter turnout was strong and continued to lean Democratic even as Republicans made big gains with other voters. According to MSNBC exit polling in key battleground house races, Hispanic/Latino voters made up 8% of those races and favored Democrats over Republicans by 65% to 33%.
“The elections of 2010 are further proof of the power of the Latino vote,” stated Margaret Moran, LULAC National President. “No longer can politicians afford to ignore the needs of their fastest growing constituency. Latino voters have demonstrated that they are paying close attention to the issues that matter most to their families and their communities and they are prepared to support the candidates who respond to their concerns.”
In Nevada, Senator Harry Reid was reelected with overwhelming support from Latinos who turned out in large numbers to beat back challenger Sharon Angle whose anti-immigrant attack ads angered Hispanic/Latino voters across the state. Exit polling by MSNBC indicates that Latinos made up 15% of the Nevada vote with 68% of Latino voters supporting Harry Reid.
In Florida, Republican Marco Rubio handily won election to the Senate with 55% of the Hispanic/Latino vote in a state where Hispanics made up 12% of the vote according to the exit poll. In addition, Republican David Rivera defeated Democrat Joe Garcia in the states closely watched 25th district.
Republican Susana Martinez made history in New Mexico by becoming the nation’s first Latina Governor, defeating Diane Denish with 54% of the vote. She is joined by Governor-elect Brian Sandoval of Nevada who picked up 33% of the Hispanic/Latino vote which proved enough for him to become Nevada’s first Hispanic/Latino Governor.
In Texas, Governor Perry was reelected with 33% of the Hispanic/Latino vote in a state where Latinos made up 17% of the votes cast. Republican Quico Canseco bested incumbent Ciro Rodriguez in the closely fought 23rd Congressional District while Bill Flores knocked off Chet Edwards in the 17th Congressional District giving Texas 2 Republican Hispanic members of Congress for the first time.
In Washington State, Hispanic/Latinos are making their presence felt electing Republican Jaime Herrera as the state’s first Latina member of Congress in a state where the Hispanic/Latino Vote made up 6% of the vote according to the exit poll.
Hispanic/Latino voters overwhelming helped Democrats win the governorships of our nation’s two largest states, where New York Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo garnered 81% of the Hispanic/Latino vote and California Governor-elect Jerry Brown picked up 63% of the Hispanic/Latino vote.
However, Hispanic/Latino voters in Arizona were not able to overcome some of the most racially polarized voting in the nation as Governor Janet Brewer of SB1070 fame was reelected despite the fact that 71% of Latinos supported her opponent Terry Goddard. Still Brewer’s lack of support with Latino voters coupled with Harry Reid’s win in Nevada is a clear sign that harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric will cause politicians to lose support from the nation’s fastest growing voting population.