Tuesday, June 19, 2018 | Updated at 12:36 AM ET


Latino Vote to Have Strong Impact on 2016 Election as U.S. Hispanic Population & Political Influence See Massive Growth

First Posted: Aug 25, 2016 02:12 PM EDT
Latino Vote Expected to Have Strong Impact on 2016 Election

Photo : David McNew/Getty Images

Nielson released a report this week that examined in-depth the growing Latino population in the United States and emphasized the extent of this population's increasing influence on the country.

From rising representation in U.S. population to exponentially increasing financial clout, Nielson noted that Latinos in America are becoming increasingly more informed and active participants of the U.S. electorate - an important observation to take into consideration during an election year.

The report, titled "From the Ballot Box to the Grocery Store: A 2016 Perspective on Growing Hispanic Influence in America," made clear a number of things in terms of Latino influence on U.S. culture, including the fact that the Hispanic demographic has the potential to wield major influence in the 2016 presidential election.

"Due to the size and increasing influence...political groups must appeal to Hispanics and actively engage this segment," said Mónica Gil, senior vice president and general manager for Multicultural Growth & Strategy at Nielson. "There is no 'one size fits all' solution to reach all Hispanics...we are diverse, we speak two languages and we are paying attention."

Several issues related to the Latino community were highlighted in the Nielson report, and the following were among the most interesting and thought-provoking statistics presented.

Looking at the current and future rapidly growing Latino-American population as well as related trends in terms of increasing economic power, Nielson revealed that Latinos are expected to make up approximately one-quarter of the U.S. population by 2040 and that number is expected to increase to one-third of the population by 2060.

On a related note, the Nielson data shows that over the next 45 years, 65 percent of the total U.S. population growth is expected to come from Latinos.

Examining the increasing economic power that the U.S. Latino population holds, Nielson statistics showed that Latino buying power in the country rose to $1.3 trillion in 2015. This is an amount greater than the gross domestic product (GDP) of either Australia or Spain - and this financial trend is expected to continue on an upward spiral.

Looking at the powerful reach and influence, as well as noted unpredictability of the Latino vote, Nielson researchers had this to say:

Currently there are 27 million Latino voters eligible to take part in the Nov. election, which comprises 12 percent of the entire U.S. electorate. Looking at party affiliation, 52 percent of Latinos living in the U.S. identify themselves as Democrats, 30 percent as Independent and nine percent as Republican.

"A larger percentage of Hispanics said the Democratic party rather than the Republican party has the better vision to address major issues like the economy, jobs, education, and protecting the environment," Nielson researchers wrote. "But for most issues, more than half of those asked did not affirmatively identify either party as having the better vision on the matter in question."

With eight million eligible Hispanic voters identifying as "Independent," this represents a decidedly large block of votes in the 2016 election.

"Looking more deeply at the self-declared Independent group, more than half (56 percent) claim to lean neither Democratic or Republican," Nielson researchers said. "[This suggests] that the Hispanic vote would appear to be more in play than is often assumed."

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