The Latino Vote: What Happens Next Depends on Us

By Adranna Quintero, Huffington Post Latino Voices

Much was said this year about how Latinos would cast the deciding vote in this election. So last night I watched closely to see just how much we the Latino electorate, impacted the election. Early results show that Latinos did just that.

Latinos turned out in droves. We voted early and voted our conscience and our experience. Over the next weeks we will pore over these results, but what has been materializing over the past decade is now clear: our time has come.

An impreMedia-Latino Decisions poll released Tuesday estimated that Obama had won 75 percent of Latino voters nationwide, which is very close to the most recent exit polls that find Latino support at around 72 percent — higher than in 2008. In states like Colorado, Nevada and Florida, the results hinged on Latino turnout. Even in states not traditionally thought of as Latino strongholds like Ohio and Pennsylvania, exit polls were crediting Obama’s win thanks in part to Latino voters.

An estimated 24 million Hispanic-Americans were eligible to vote this election (an increase of more than 4 million since 2008), and 11-12 million were expected to actually go to the polls. Turnout was key for all of us working with Latino voters since for our community, this election carried high stakes. Our unemployment rate remains high, health care remains a priority with many Latinos — many of whom are uninsured, education is critical for our youth, our communities are still bearing the brunt of pollution and global warming, and there is of course…


This article was first published in Huffington Post Latino Voices

Adrianna Quintero Somaini is a senior attorney and the founder/director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Latino Advocacy program, “La Onda Verde.”

[Phot by Ray_from_LA]

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