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Arizona's emerging Latino vote

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Arizona's emerging Latino vote

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 Morrison Institute for Public Policy released last week.

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 be 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 Dr. 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 Morrison Institute Senior Policy Analyst Bill Hart and Arizona State University faculty associate Dr. E.C. Hedberg. 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.”

The full report is available for download here.

Morrison Institute for Public Policy is a leader in examining critical Arizona and regional issues, and is a catalyst for public dialogue. An Arizona State University resource, Morrison Institute uses nonpartisan research and communication outreach to help improve the state's quality of life.

The director of communications for the Morrison Institute of Public Policy at ASU, Garcia is a longtime, award-winning journalist whose experience as a top editor, columnist and reporter included positions at The Arizona Republic, The Daily Times, Tucson Citizen, USA Today and The Associated Press.

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