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Latino Voters in the 2014 Midterm Election: Most Eligible Latino Voters Live Outside "Competitive" House Elections

First Posted: Oct 17, 2014 04:18 PM EDT
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Latinos may be the fastest growing population in the U.S., but it might not affect most of the 435 congressional districts across the country.

Hispanics comprise 10.7 percent of eligible voters in the U.S., but as Pew Research Center acknowledged, 50 percent of the Latino population's eligible voters live in 66 districts. Of the 66 districts, Latinos represent at least or over 100,000 eligible voters. Another 157 congressional districts have at least 50,000 eligible Latino voters.

California is host to the district with the highest share of Latino eligible voters. The Golden State's 40th congressional district, located within the Los Angeles area, has 77.6 percent of its eligible voters are Latino.

After California's 40th district, Texas is dominant with Latino voter representation. Texas' 34th, 16th, 15th and 28th districts round off the top five with high Latino eligible voters. The 34th district's Latino eligible voter population is 76.6 percent, narrowly ahead of the 73.5 percent for the state's 16th district. In the Lone Star State's 15th district, 71.4 percent of the population is eligible Latino voters while the 28th district's rate is 66.6 percent. The four aforementioned Texas districts are located along the U.S.-Mexico border, either along the Rio Grade Valley or El Paso cities.

Lawmakers of the Democratic Party currently control the top five congressional districts. Into the top 10 districts with high concentration of Latino eligible voters, Florida's 25th and 26th congressional districts are home to two Republican incumbents. Ranked eight and ninth on the Pew Research Center's data, the two Florida districts are also home to large Cuban populations. The 25th district's eligible Latino voter population is 62.7 percent, and the 26th district stands at 62.3 percent.

New York's 15th congressional district, which prominently comprises half of the Bronx, ranked 10th with 61.7 percent eligible Latino voters.

Seven congressional districts hosts less than 1 percent of Latino eligible voters. The lowest in the nation is Ohio's 6th district with 0.5 percent of the Latino eligible share. Four of the seven districts' incumbents are Republicans.

"The vast majority [96 percent] of Hispanic eligible voters live in districts without a close Congressional race this year. In the 14 Congressional districts with competitive races for the U.S. House of Representatives this year, Hispanics account for 13.6 percent of eligible voters on average, but the share in each district varies widely," noted the Pew Research Center report titled "Latino Voters and the 2014 Midterm Elections."

The congressional districts with "competitive" House elections are Florida's 26th district, Arizona's 2nd district and California's 26th district. Respectively, Democratic Reps. Joe Garcia, Ron Barber and Julia Brownley currently hold the three seats in the competitive House elections.

Pew Research Center also recognized six competitive districts, but it's home to less than 5 percent of eligible Latino voters. Democrats control five of the six districts (Florida's 2nd District, Illinois' 12th District, New Hampshire's 1st District, Minnesota's 8th District and West Virginia's 3rd District) while one (Iowa's 3rd district) is vacant but previously held by a Republican.

Two-thirds of the U.S. Latino eligible voter population live in six states -- Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas, which also includes 46.3 percent of all the U.S. Latino population. The Latino population has been increasing notably in the southeast including Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina and West Virginia. The Latino population growth in some states such as North Carolina, however, are people not eligible to vote due to various factors ranging from immigration or under 18 years old.

Overall, 25.2 million Latinos are eligible to vote in the 2014 midterm elections, which is a record rate and equates to 11 percent of all eligible voters in the U.S.

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