Nevada: More than 194,000 Latino Voters Expected to Cast Ballots in Election 2016

Accounting for more than one of every eight registered voters, Latinos are expected to play a critical role in the outcome of both the Democratic and Republican Nevada caucuses

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 2/16/2016, 3:19 p.m.
Less than four days before Latinos will begin to make a decisive impact on the outcome of the Nevada primary ...

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Less than four days before Latinos will begin to make a decisive impact on the outcome of the Nevada primary caucuses (Democratic Caucus – Feb. 20; Republican Caucus – Feb. 23), the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund released its profile of the Nevada Latino electorate and key congressional races to watch in the state in 2016. The full Nevada primary profile is available for download here.

According to NALEO Educational Fund analysis, more than 194,000 Latino voters will make their voices heard at the ballot box in Election 2016. Latino voter turnout in Nevada has continued to expand each presidential election, growing from 72,000 in 2004 to 157,000 in 2012, an increase of 118 percent.

“With more than 194,000 Nevada Latino voters expected to cast ballots this year, there is no doubt that the Silver state’s Latino electorate will play a decisive role in electing our nation’s next President,” stated Arturo Vargas, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund executive director. “Simply translating an ad into Spanish is not enough if candidates want to win Nevada’s six electoral votes and the race for the White House in 2016. Candidates will need to have a robust outreach strategy in both English and Spanish that engages Latinos on the issues that matter most if they hope to capture the support of this increasingly influential electorate.”

Key Characteristics of the Latino Electorate/Community in Nevada:

Population and Electorate Size

Nevada is home to more than 790,000 Latinos, who comprise 28 percent of the state’s total population (2.8 million).

The more than 196,000 Latino registered voters (as of Dec. 2015) in Nevada account for 13 percent of all (1.5 million) registered voters in the state or more than one out of every eight registered voters.

Party Affiliation

Among Latino registered voters in Nevada, approximately 45 percent identify as either Republican (17 percent) or other (28 percent), with 55 percent identifying as Democrat.

For both Latinos and non-Latinos, slightly more than one in every four voters is not affiliated with either major political party.

Age

Latino registered voters tend to be younger than non-Latinos, with 18-24 year-olds comprising 16 percent of registered Latinos, compared to 8 percent of non-Latinos.

Similarly, 24 percent of Latino registered voters are 25-34 years-old, compared to 16 percent of non-Latinos.

In contrast, over half (52 percent) of non-Latino registered voters are 50 and older, compared to 32 percent of Latinos.

Political Representation

In 2015, 18 Latinos served in elected office in Nevada, with more than half serving at the state level (56 percent).

Between 1996 and 2015, the number of Latinos serving in elected office in Nevada increased dramatically, from three to 18.

Nevada has played an important role as one of the nation’s presidential election swing states, with its voters favoring President Bill Clinton (D - 1992, 1996), President George W. Bush (R - 2000, 2004), and President Barack Obama (D - 2008, 2012). Latino voters have had a significant impact on the Presidential politics in Nevada, helping flip Electoral College votes to President Obama in Election 2008 following President Bush’s victory in 2004.