New Americans in the Voting Booth: The Growing Electoral Power of Immigrant Communities

a new report from the American Immigration Council

The American Immigration Council has put out a report outlining the increasing importance (and potential power) of new citizens in current and future elections. You can read a summary, or download the full report at their website:     (Note: There are some interesting graphs and charts here that might be fun to share with a citizenship class.)

Here are some excerpts from the report: 

  • The United States is in the midst of a major demographic transformation that has profound political consequences. Over the past couple of decades, the number of voters who are immigrants or the native-born children of immigrants (“New Americans”)—as well as members of the larger communities to which immigrants and their children belong (primarily Latinos and Asians)—has grown dramatically. Between 1996 and 2012, the number of New American registered voters rose by 10.6 million—an increase of 143.1 percent—and the number of registered voters who are Latinos or Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs)  increased by 9.8 million. Conversely, fewer and fewer voters are native-born whites.
  • Together, New Americans, Latinos, and APIs are the fastest growing segments of the electorate. This trend goes far beyond the political dynamics of any particular election. New Americans, Latinos, and APIs constitute a rapidly rising political force with which more and more candidates for public office will have to reckon. In the coming years, politicians who alienate these voters will find it increasingly difficult to win national and many state and local elections—especially in close races.
  • The electoral power which New Americans wield—or can wield, especially in close elections—is evident in the fact that the number of New American voters in 2012 exceeded the margin by which President Obama either won or lost the race in 12 states. Specifically, New American voters were greater in number than President Obama’s margin of victory in California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Their numbers were greater than Obama’s margin of defeat in Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina.