How do you know the U.S. Presidential Elections are around the corner? Easy. Candidates are campaigning like crazy on Latino communities. Whether their proposals resonate or not with what we stand for, this has been a constant in previous elections.

And rightly so.

According to the California Civic Engagement Project (CCEP), Latinos have accounted for nearly a quarter of all voter growth in the U.S. over the last two decades. This represents almost eight million of the 32.5 million new voters.

However, a key driver of this increase has been the growth in Latina voters. As the CCEP continues, Latinas have “consistently higher turnout rates” than Latino men.

So, where does our community lean when it comes to voting? What motivates them to go to the polls? More importantly, what myths have been created around Latino voting?

First, can all Latinos vote?

This year, an estimated 36.2 million Latinos are eligible to vote, up from 32.3 million in 2020. This means that if one party manages to convince the whole voting group, Latinos alone could decide who sits in the White House.

However, not all eligible Latino voters actually show up at the polling stations. Similarly, while Latinos account for 14.7% of all eligible voters in November 2024, this varies depending on the state.

In New Mexico, 66% of Hispanics are eligible to vote. By contrast, Tennessee (36%) and Maryland (39%) had the lowest percentage of Latinos among eligible voters.

In general, Latinos are considerably less likely than other demographics to be eligible to vote. According to the Pew Research Center, this is partly because the nation’s Latino population includes “a large number of people who are too young to vote or who are not U.S. citizens.”

Latinos who are not eligible to vote include permanent residents (green card holders) and those in the process of becoming permanent residents, those in the U.S. on temporary visas, and unauthorized immigrants.

Is the Latino vote Republican or Democrat?

One of the constant narratives around the Latino vote is precisely the swinging nature of our political views.

The thing is, Latinos are not a monolith. Assuming we will all respond the same way to a political campaign is not only wrong; it’s terribly naïve.

For example, while Donald Trump made gains among Latinos in 2020, a majority of Latino voters (59%) voted for current President Joe Biden, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. However, a recent New York Times/Siena College poll found President Biden losing support among Latinos.

As the New York Times reported, an increasing number of Latino voters are saying “they are more likely to vote for former President Donald J. Trump.” The poll shows Trump edging out Biden among Latino voters, with 46% supporting the former president and 40% percent favoring Biden.

Why the change of heart?

While many predicted Trump would lose all the support of Latino voters during his first term, during the 2020 election, we were all surprised when the support from “immigrant-heavy” precincts improved dramatically.

Yet, Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric backfired on his hopes, and roughly 60% of Latinos voted for Biden. Similarly, Latino voters helped flip Arizona to Democrats. However, today, Latino support for Trump has nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with Trump’s stances on the economy.

What are the issues that drive the Latino vote?

Yes. Historically, roughly a third of Latino voters have supported Republicans in presidential elections. However, considering the current situation of the economy and how it impacts communities of color, Latinos decide to vote according to what affects their reality first.

According to UnidosUS, the main issue for Latinos in 2024 is precisely this. The organization asked respondents to list their top three issues in November 2023, and 54% named inflation and the rising cost of living as a top issue, an 8-point jump compared to 2022. Similarly, 44% named jobs and the economy a top issue, marking a 15-point leap.

Furthermore, 30% said the Democratic party would best address their top concern, AS/COA explained, while 21% opted for the Republican Party.

Meanwhile, immigration didn’t show up as a top concern.

However, a February Gallup survey found that the largest portion of U.S. voters (28%) consider immigration the country’s biggest problem, followed by 20% naming the government and 12% the economy.

In short, while most Americans worry about immigration, Latinos are actually concerned about the economy.

How Latinas could impact the 2024 Elections

Again, Latinos are not a monolith. In fact, there is a difference in political behavior between Latinos and Latinas.

According to the CCEP, Latinas register to vote and vote in higher numbers than Latinos. However, in 2016, 5.5 million eligible Latinas of voting age were not registered.

Latinas outvote Latinos at higher rates than White women outvote White men in the U.S., 50% over 45%. This difference also varies by age. Overall, older women, 65 and up, vote at lower rates than men of the same age group. This is the case for Latinos as well. Still, the gender difference between younger and older Latinos is far greater than it is for Whites, African Americans, or Asian Americans.


However, Latinas are a slim majority (50.8%) of the Latino citizen voting-age population, and, combined with their higher registration and turnout rates, they outvote Latino men in voting participation. And with key issues on the ballot, like abortion and women’s equality, the impact of women’s turnout will be key.

According to a new national poll by Lake Research Partners for Ms. Magazine and the Feminist Majority Foundation, 72% of voters who support abortion rights find it a motivation to go to the polls, compared to 48% of voters who don’t support abortion rights.

“The overturning of Roe v. Wade has lit a fire under voters and continues to be a powerful turnout issue, especially among younger women, college-educated women, Latinas, and voters ages 30-39,” said Kathy Spillar, executive editor of Ms. magazine, at a press conference at the National Press Club in D.C.

“Now that voters, especially women voters, know that rights can be taken away, they want an amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing that rights cannot be ‘denied or abridged on account of sex,’” said Eleanor Smeal, president of FMF and long-time ERA leader.

In short, the true power behind the Latino vote is, indeed, Latinas.