Engaging the Latino Electorate
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Over the last decade, Latino voters were often referred to as the sleeping giant of American politics, poised to exert influence but not yet awakened to their electoral potential. After the level of Hispanic voter participation in the 2008 and 2010 elections, the size and potential of the Latino electorate is no longer in question—9.7 million Hispanics voted in 2008, composing 7.4% of all votes cast and proving to be a crucial constituency in southwestern battleground states. What remains to be seen, however, is whether the necessary work and investments will be made to ensure that the full potential of the Latino vote is realized. This analysis reviews Latino electoral numbers and potential for 2012, looks at communication expenditures aimed at Latinos, examines layered campaign strategies that generated Hispanic engagement in the last election cycle, and provides examples of promising nonpartisan efforts.