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AZ Week Notebook entry


Political and civic leaders are predicting a record Latino voter turnout in the 2012 presidential election. Will it be enough to make a difference in Arizona or in swing states?

The quick answer: probably not.

The predicted record turnout, according to several studies and sources, likely will be just more than half the eligible Latino voters. The Center for Immigration Studies predicts it will be 52.7 percent nationally. That's up from 49.9 percent in 2008 and continued an upward trend.

By comparison, 66.1 percent of non-Hispanic whites voted nationally in 2008, and 65.2 percent of African Americans voted, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

In Arizona, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials predicts a 23.2 percent increase in the number of Latino voters going to the polls in November, or about 359,000. That's out of more than 700,000 Arizona Latino adults who are citizens and thus eligible to vote if they register. Another nearly 500,000 Latino adults in Arizona are ineligible to vote because they aren't citizens.

President Barack Obama's campaign and that of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Richard Carmona are counting on the Latino vote to boost them both in Arizona. The projected numbers make it seem a long shot.

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About AZ Week Notebook

News and commentary from Arizona Week producer/host Michael Chihak and interns Melanie Huonker and Lucy Valencia.