The 2012 election was a watershed moment for the Latino electorate in many respects. In giving President Obama a record level of support (75%), Latinos were decisive to the outcome; an unprecedented mark of influence for this segment of the electorate. Prior to Election Day, both parties went out of their way to include more Latinos in marquee roles their conventions. And after the election Latinos have remained at the center of national discussions about a potentially enduring coalition of minority voters, and the future of the Republican party. 2012 was undoubtedly big for Latinos.
Despite all of these high-water marks, we have yet to see Latinos actualize their full voting potential. To be fair, no group turns out at 100% of their voters, but the larger point is, Latinos remain underrepresented at the ballot box. This post considers the scope of the potential Latino electorate and the role that party and campaign mobilization efforts have in shaping Latino registration and turnout rates.