Editor’s Note: The following media release was shared on Wednesday by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO):
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Less than three days before Latinos will play a key role in the outcome of the Nevada caucuses on February 22, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund released its profile of the Latino electorate in Nevada along with the state’s key Congressional race to watch. The full Nevada primary profile is available here.
According to NALEO Educational Fund analysis, more than 238,000 Latino voters will make their voices heard at the ballot box in 2020 Between 2004 and 2016, Latino voter turnout in Nevada in presidential elections has grown from 72,000 to 196,000, an increase of 172 percent.
“With more than 238,000 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 the 2020 election,” stated Arturo Vargas, Chief Executive Officer of NALEO Educational Fund. “Candidates are beginning to understand the need to have a robust outreach strategy in both English and Spanish, and a genuine understanding of the myriad issues which affect the Latino community 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 881,000 Latinos, who comprise 29 percent of the state’s total population (3.03 million).
- The more than 239,000 Latino registered voters (as of October 2019) in Nevada account for 16 percent of all registered voters in the state (1.5 million) or more than one out of every six registered voters.
- Party Affiliation
- Among Latino registered voters in Nevada, 55 percent identify as Democrat, and 45 percent identify as either Republican (16 percent) or not affiliated with either major political party (29 percent).
- For both Latinos and non-Latinos, slightly more than one in every four voters is not affiliated with either major political party.
- Latino registered voters tend to be younger than non-Latinos, with 18- to 24-year-olds comprising 20 percent of all registered Latinos in Nevada, compared to only 10 percent of the same age group for non-Latino voters.
- Similarly, 25 percent of Latino registered voters are 25- to 34-year-olds, compared to only 17 percent for non-Latinos, respectively.
- In contrast, half (50 percent) of non-Latino registered voters are 50 and older, compared to just 31 percent of Latinos.
- Political Representation
- In 2019, 29 Latinos served in elected office in Nevada, with nearly two-thirds serving at the local level (66 percent).
- Between 1996 and 2019, the number of Latinos serving in elected office in Nevada increased dramatically, from three to 29.
Between 1992 and 2012, Nevada played an important role as a bellwether state, with its voters favoring President Bill Clinton (D-1992, 1996), President George W. Bush (R-2000, 2004), and President Barack Obama (D-2008, 2012). However, in 2016, Secretary Hillary Clinton (D) defeated then-candidate Donald Trump (R) in Nevada. Latino voters have also had a significant impact on Nevada as a “swing” state, helping flip Electoral College votes to then-candidate Obama in 2008, following President Bush’s victory in 2004.
Additionally, Latino voters in Nevada have played a pivotal role in the outcome of midterm congressional races. In the 2016 U.S. Senate election, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D) defeated Congressman Joe Heck (R), 47 percent to 45 percent. The 2016 Election Eve poll conducted by research firm Latino Decisions indicated that 79 percent of Latinos supported Cortez Masto, with political observers believing the Latino vote was critical to her victory. In the 2016 Presidential contest, the Nevada Latino vote also likely contributed to Hillary Clinton’s victory over Donald Trump.
Congressional Primary Race to Watch
The contest for the 4th Congressional District is the only U.S. House of Representatives contest in Nevada with a competitive Latino candidate in the state’s June 9th primary. Marine and Navy Veteran and reservist Charles Navarro (R) is pursuing the Republican nomination and the opportunity to face incumbent U.S. Representative Steven Horsford (D) in the general election.
Ahead of the Nevada caucuses and in the lead up to Election 2020, NALEO Educational Fund will continue its efforts to ensure that Latino voters in Nevada and nationwide have the necessary information to make their voices heard at the ballot box. These efforts include operating the NALEO Educational Fund toll-free bilingual hotline 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682) providing vital information on every aspect of the electoral process, from registering to vote, to voter ID requirements, to finding polling places on Election Day.