California Latino Voters Expected to Play Decisive Role

Created: 23 October, 2018
Last update: 20 April, 2022

By Ana Gomez Salcido

California Latino voters are expected to play decisive role in the 2018 midterm elections, but the lack of outreach is still a major issue for this sector, according to a recent poll by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund and Latino Decisions.

The Latino electorate is expected to play a decisive role in the Golden State in Election 2018, with NALEO Educational Fund analysis showing that nearly 7.7 million Latino voters will be eligible to cast ballots in the California’s general election next month. And with less than two weeks left to go, a majority of California Latino voters (61 percent) report that they have yet to be contacted by a candidate or political party. Among those polled, California Latino voters who are over the age of 50 (69 percent) and foreign-born (66 percent) were the most likely to report being ignored.

“Despite California playing host to several competitive contests where Latinos could play a decisive role, we are once again seeing Latino voters in the Golden State being overlooked by candidates and campaigns,” stated Arturo Vargas, NALEO Educational Fund chief executive officer. “As history has shown us time and time again, it is not enough to rely on excitement or anger to drive Latinos to the polls. Our nation’s political parties and candidates need to invest in meaningful outreach efforts in order to make their case and give Latino voters a clear reason why they should show up to support them on Election Day.”

Results from the most recent NALEO Educational Fund/Latino Decisions weekly political tracking poll offer exclusive insights into the Latino electorate nationwide this year, including newly released crosstabs that breaks down data for surveyed Latino voters in California by age, gender, voter propensity status, and more. Latino Decisions interviewed 528 Latino registered voters in California between August 28 and October 15, 2018 for the survey, which carries a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

Key findings from the California crosstabs include that California Latino voters are ready to make their voices heard in the upcoming elections. More than 69 percent of Latino voters in California stated they were almost certain to vote, with registered voters who were over the age of 50 (87 percent), likely voters (80 percent) and male (72 percent) accounting for those most likely to express this level of enthusiasm for the 2018 Midterm election.

“California is at the forefront of the control of the U.S. House with Latino voters playing a critical role in as many as seven toss-up congressional seats,” said Matt Barreto, co-founder of Latino Decisions and Professor at UCLA. “Both parties need to work hard in the final weeks to contact and communicate with Latino voters.
Campaigns cannot take any voters for granted. Voters show up when they feel inspired and connected to candidates. With six Latinos running for statewide office there is a good chance of seeing increased Latino turnout in California.”