The potential power of the Latino vote in Nevada


Nevada may remain out of reach for the GOP presidential nominee if the Latino vote rises as expected in 2016, making up more than a fifth of the vote, according to a new analysis.

The study by the left-leaning Center for American Progress is not news, but analyzes the numbers and puts them in stark relief. "In Nevada, the rising number of Latino voters could provide a firewall for Democrats," the study, posted below and analyzing demographic shifts in several key states, says. "Although Republicans would see the presidential race tighten up in their favor if they were to regain the higher levels of voter support in 2016 that they enjoyed in 2004, Nevada would remain difficult, but not impossible, for Republicans to win."

Snippets from the Nevada-specific report, which includes the potential power of those affected ny deferred immigration action:

• From 2012 to 2016, voters of color will jump from 36 percent of the state’s electorate 

to 39.4 percent.

• Asian American eligible voters will reach 11 percent of the Nevada electorate in 2016.

• If the Latino vote share sees the same growth as is projected for the share of Latino eligible voters, more than one in five voters in the state in 2016, or 21.2 percent, will be Latino for the first time ever, up from 19 percent in 2012.

Based on demographic projections, Nevada may become more and more difficult—though not impossible—for a Republican presidential candidate to win. 

• In 2004, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry had a 21-percentage-point advantage over Republican candidate George W. Bush among Latino voters, lead-
ing 60 percent to 39 percent. 71 percent of Latino votes while Republican Mitt Romney received 24 percent, a 47-point margin.

• If Democrats are able to hold onto 2012 levels of support from voters of color and turnout rates remain the same in 2016, the Democratic margin of victory in Nevada could increase nearly 3 percentage points, yielding a Democratic victory of 54.6 percent to Republicans’ 44.2 percent in the presidential election.

• If Republicans are able to regain their higher support levels from voters of color from 2004 as well as their high support levels from white voters from 2012, Republicans would see the 2016 presidential race in Nevada tighten up in their favor. Even in this scenario, however, the state may remain hard to win for Republicans, with 51.8 percent of the vote going to Democrats and 48.1 percent to Republicans.


The political power of deferred action

In addition to the overall demographic shifts in Nevada, DAPA-affected voters comprise a significant proportion of the state’s electorate

• In 2016, Nevada voters who are personally affected by DAPA will number more than 27,000—more than former President Bush’s 2004 margin of victory in the state. The projected number of Nevada’s DAPA-affected voters in 2016 is 40 percent of President Obama’s 2012 margin of victory in the state.

Full implementation of the deferred action initiatives would result in significant economic gains for Nevada

• If DAPA; Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA; and DACA expansion were all implemented, Nevada’s gross domestic product would increase by $2.5 billion; Nevada residents’ cumulative incomes would increase by $1.4 billion; and more than 3,000 jobs would be created, all cumulatively over 10 years.


Latino Political Power by Jon Ralston

Nevada Election by Jon Ralston