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Latino Daily News

Friday October 15, 2010

New Citizens – What Effect Will They have on Upcoming Elections?

At a time when federal, state, and local elections are often decided by small voting margins—with candidates frequently locked in ferocious competition for the ballots of those “voting blocs” that might turn the electoral tide in their favor—one large and growing bloc of voters has been consistently overlooked and politically underestimated: New Americans.

Between the Presidential elections of 1996 and 2008 the number of new Americans registered to vote jumped to 9.3 million, a 101.5 percent increase, while the number of Latinos registered to vote grew to 11.6 million. 

This group of voters and potential voters includes not only immigrants who have become U.S. citizens (Naturalized Americans), but also the U.S.-born children of immigrants who were raised during the current era of large-scale immigration from Latin America and Asia which began in 1965.

The ranks of registered voters who are New Americans, or Latino or Asian, have been growing rapidly this decade and are likely to play an increasingly pivotal role in elections at all levels in the years to come, particularly in battleground states like Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. As public opinion polls reveal, anti-immigrant political rhetoric is likely to motivate many New Americans to cast ballots, but is unlikely to win many votes for candidates perceived as anti-immigrant.

To read the entire report on ‘The New Electorate’ by the Immigration Policy Center visit our HSN Library