By Dolores Delgado Campbell and Duane Campbell
Immigration issues along with the changing composition of the U.S. electorate will shape the 2016 Presidential and Congressional races, as well as many state races.
While working class non-union white voters in the upper Midwest appear to be abandoning the Clinton-led Democratic Party in response to immigration and neo- liberal trade policies, Latino voters are putting some traditional Republican and swing states in play, noticeably Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Texas. In these states with a close electoral contest, the Latino vote may make the decisive victory.
The U.S. electorate in 2016 will be the country’s most racially and ethnically diverse ever. Nearly one in three eligible voters (31%) will be Latino, African American, Asian or another racial or ethnic minority, up from 29% in 2012. Much of this change is due to strong growth among Latino voters, in particular U.S.-born youth. Latinos will constitute an estimated 11.9% of the total electorate.
According to Pew Research, the projected number of eligible voters will be:
White – 69%; African American 12%; Latino 12%; Asian 4%.
(For a detailed description of the various national groups within the Hispanic category see http://www.dsausa.org/dl_hispanic_heritage_month)
Latino millennials will account for nearly half (44%) of the record 27.3 million Hispanic eligible voters projected for 2016. (Pew, 2016)
Donald Trump began his campaign for the Republican nomination with an assault on Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the U.S. This was his strategic choice. He has expanded his assault to encompass additional immigrant groups including Muslims and other Latino immigrants (but not Cubans).