Lower Voter Turnout in 2012 Among Hispanics and Whites
The Center for Immigration Studies has used newly-released Census data to examine the 2012 presidential election. The new data show that both white and Hispanic turnout was down. Numerically, the big decline was among whites, with 4.7 million staying home on Election Day compared to 2004 – 4.2 million of whom lacked a college education.
“As Republicans think about how they can expand their voter base, the new data suggest that one of their biggest problems in the last presidential election was that so many less-educated whites sat home,” said Steven Camarota , the Center’s Director of Research and author of the report. “These voters, who have been hard hit by the recession, have traditionally supported Republicans. It seems likely that by supporting the Schumer-Rubio amnesty, GOP legislators would further alienate these voters.”
Among the findings:
- Overall, 61.8 percent of eligible voters turned out in 2012, down from 63.6 percent in 2008 and 63.8 percent in 2004.
- Prior to the election there was speculation that Hispanics would be particularly motivated to turn out to vote in 2012. However, this proved not to be the case. Only 48.0 percent of eligible Hispanics voted, down from 49.9 percent in 2008. The 2012 turnout was similar to 2004, when 47.2 percent voted.
- Hispanics were 8.4 percent of voters (11.2 million), close to the 8.9 percent the Center for Immigration Studies projected prior to the November election. If Hispanic turnout had been what it was in 2008, 450,000 more Hispanics would have voted.
- Whites were also less engaged in the election, with a 64.1 percent turnout among eligible voters, down from 66.1 percent in 2008 and 67.2 percent in 2004. (There is a break in the continuity of data by race, so elections prior to 2004 are not directly comparable to more recent presidential elections.)
- If white turnout had been what it was in 2004, 4.7 million more of them would have voted. Of the 4.7 million whites who sat home on Election Day relative to 2004, 4.2 million did not have a bachelor’s degree.
The president received five million more votes than Governor Romney. What would have it taken for Romney to have won at least a plurality of the popular vote?
- If Romney had increased his share of the women’s vote by four percentage points, from the 44 percent he actually received to 48 percent, then he would have won the popular vote. Each percentage point of the female vote equaled 714,000 votes.
- If Romney had increased his share of the black vote by 15 percentage points, from the 6 percent he actually received to 21 percent, then he would have won the popular vote. Each percentage point of the black vote equaled 172,000 votes.
- If Romney had increased his share of the Hispanic vote by 23 percentage points, from the 27 percent he actually received to 50 percent, then he have won the popular vote. Each percentage point of the Hispanic vote equaled 112,000 votes.
- If Romney had increased his share of the white vote by three percentage points, from the 59 percent he actually received to 62 percent, then he would have won the popular vote. Each percentage point of the white vote equaled 980,000 votes.
View the Senate bill, CIS Senate testimony, and commentary at: http://cis.org/Border-Security-Economic-Opportunity-Immigration-Modernization-Act