By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Latino political leaders have been touting the potential power of Latino voters for years. Though we knew that demographics would end up proving them right sooner or later, their discourse was starting to sound like they had hired The Boy Who Cried Wolf as a spokesman.
Then, 2008 happened.
The November presidential election became the quinceañera party where the Latino vote was introduced in the grand ballroom of American politics as a powerful voting bloc which can have an important role in deciding a nationwide election. (As we’ve already said before, there are many, extremely varied “Latino votes,” but we use the term here to simplify — though not oversimplify — matters.)
Both exit polls and post-Election Day surveys showed that Latino advocates’ turnout predictions had been fulfilled: over 10 million Latinos voted, as compared with 7.6 million in the 2004 presidential election and over 6 million in 2000. An America’s Voice poll [get the pdf here] claims Latinos were 9 percent of the electorate, “approximately 11 million voters.”