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New report projects political change from Ariz. Latino voters

August 01, 2012

Arizona likely will experience a dramatic shift in the state’s political landscape over the next decades due to the large number of younger Latinos coming of voter age, according to a new report by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy.

"Arizona’s Emerging Latino Vote" uses new data and projections to illustrate Arizona’s real potential for changing from a red state to a blue state over the next few decades. Some political observers say that change already is beginning to take place.

“Arizona’s Latino population is only 20 or 30 years away from dominating the state’s political scene – if they choose to do it,” said David Daugherty, director of research at Morrison Institute. “But, if they want a bigger and growing voice in Arizona politics they must register and vote in larger numbers than they do today. If they do that, their voice in Arizona will be very loud indeed.”

Data in the report includes Census information, as well as political party loyalty and voting tendencies among Latino voters.

The report evaluates various projection models that show, because of the large influx of potential Latino voters, Democratic Party rosters mirroring or surpassing Republican voter registration by 2030. Non-aligned Latino voters were considered in the analysis, as well, with the ranks of Independent voters – many of them Latino – soon eclipsing both major traditional parties.

The report summary notes:

Data and demographics tell us a change in the political face of Arizona is on the horizon with the emerging Latino voter. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

"Arizona’s Emerging Latino Vote" was co-authored by Bill Hart, Morrison Institute senior policyanalyst and E.C. Hedberg, ASU faculty associate. It is the first publication of Morrison Institute’s Latino Public Policy Center, which will officially launch later this fall.

“The voting booth is just one area that will be impacted and changed by the influx of younger Arizonans, a majority of whom are Latino,” said Joseph Garcia, director of the new Latino center. “But elections are a key and important area, with the results helping elected officials and other policy makers to more quickly respond to changing public policies shaped by demographics, specific needs and voter mandates.”