NALEO: Nearly 280,000 Latino Voters in Colorado Expected to Cast Ballots in 2020 Election

Mar 2, 2020
7:39 AM

On Monday, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund shared the following media release about Texas and the 2020 Election:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – One day before Latinos will make a decisive impact on the outcome of the Colorado Democratic primary on Super Tuesday (March 3), the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund released its profile of the Colorado Latino electorate.

According to NALEO Educational Fund analysis, nearly 280,000 Latino voters will make their voices heard at the ballot box in 2020, an increase of 17 percent from Election 2016. Since the turn of the century, Latino turnout in Colorado Presidential elections has increased by 50 percent, from 158,000 in 2000 to 237,000 in 2016.

“During the last three Presidential election cycles, Latinos have been an influential voting bloc in Colorado. In 2008, Latinos helped flip the Centennial State from Republican to Democratic for the first time since 1992,” stated Arturo Vargas, Chief Executive Officer of NALEO Educational Fund.  “With a young and growing population in a potential battleground state, Colorado Latinos are poised to play a key role in deciding the election in 2020 and beyond.”

Key Characteristics of the Latino Electorate/Community in Colorado:

  • Population and Electorate Size
    • Colorado is home to more than 1.2 million Latinos, who comprise over 22 percent of the state’s total population (5.6 million).
    • The nearly 350,000 Latino registered voters (as of February 2020) in Colorado account for 10 percent of all registered voters in the state (3.4 million).
  • Age
    • Latino registered voters tend to be far younger than non-Latinos, with 18- to 24-year-olds comprising 19 percent of all registered Latinos in Colorado, 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 18 percent for non-Latinos, respectively.
    • In contrast, just under half (47 percent) of non-Latino registered voters are 50 and older, compared to 30 percent of Latinos.
  • Party Affiliation
    • Among Latino registered voters in Colorado, 45 percent identify as Democrats, with the remaining 55 percent identifying as either Republicans (12 percent) or as not affiliated with either major political party (43 percent).
    • For both Latinos and non-Latinos, over 40 percent of voters are unaffiliated with either major political party.
  • Political Representation
    • In 2019, 167 Latinos served in elected office in Colorado, with 91 percent serving at the local level, including county, municipal, school board, judicial, and law enforcement officials.
    • Between 1996 and 2019, the number of Latinos serving in elected office in Colorado increased from 163 to 167.

In the three Presidential contests before 2008, Colorado leaned Republican, but Democrats believed the independence of its voters could help the party secure victories for its candidates. In 2008, the Democrats chose Denver as the site of its national convention, and both parties viewed the state as a key battleground.  Ultimately, then-candidate Barack Obama (D) prevailed in both the 2008 and 2012 contests, with nine and five percent margins of victory, respectively. In 2016, Hillary Clinton (D) won the state with a five percent margin of victory over Donald Trump (R).

In the Latino Decisions 2016 Election Eve Poll, Colorado Latinos indicated that economic opportunity and immigration reform were the most important issues facing the Latino community that politicians should address. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents stated that they were voting to support Democratic candidates, and 44 percent stated that they were voting to support and represent the Latino community. Looking forward to Election 2020, with Latinos comprising 10 percent of the state’s registered voters and 16 percent of its Democrats, the Latino vote will play a key role in Colorado’s Presidential primary and general elections.

Ahead of Super Tuesday and in the lead up to Election 2020, NALEO Educational Fund will continue its efforts to ensure that Latino voters in Colorado 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 election protection 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.