Election 2010: The Latino Vote

With the Hispanic community making up such a crucial number of voters in tight midterm election races all across the country, it seems like everyone is scrutinizing us. From special interest groups urging us not to vote to President Obama stumping for our vote on Piolín por la Mañanaeveryone has something to say about the Latino community this election cycle.

And it hasn't all been positive. Though we turned out in record numbers in 2008—with more than 85% of Latino registered voters heading to the polls—a recent Pew Center study caused waves when it reported that apathy among Latino voters seemed to be at an all time high. Nevada's Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle, who is running a tight race against Senate majority leader Harry Reid, has been criticized for her blatantly racist campaign ads, which characterize Hispanics as illegal immigrants and thugs looking for a hand out.

Erratic polling results have done little to help clarify the positions of Latino voters. Gallup polls had the non-white, non-black vote as 13 percent of the total 2010 electorate, voting approximately 52% Republican and 42% Democratic. Latinos, who constitute the majority of this block, voted 67% to 31% for President Obama over John McCain in 2008 and recent polls have shown that support for Republicans has dropped since 2008. In short, the Gallup poll results are statistically impossible, yet they provide the most cited election data in the country, resulting in confusion not only for Latino voters but also for politicians.

Though some of us may be disappointed about the delay in passing immigration reform or the state of the economy, the most important thing to remember is that voting gives our community power and a voice. So on November 2nd, be sure to step up to the plate and vote!