Washington: The Republican candidate who wants to become president of the US in 2016 will need at least 47 percent of the Latino vote, the highest percentage in history, if the rest of the electorate retains roughly the same party preferences that it had in 2012, according to a study published on Friday.
The document, drafted by Latino Decisions for the America`s Voice organisation, tosses out the idea that the Republican candidate running for the White House needs only 40 percent of the Hispanic vote to win, which is what George W. Bush obtained in 2004 when he was elected for a second term.
"What Republicans don`t understand is that they`re not going to win the White House without the Latinos," Matt Bareto of Latino Decisions, a polling organisation that makes analyses and predictions about the Hispanic vote, said during his presentation of data from the study.
The idea that the Republican candidate must convince 47 percent of Latinos starts from the hypothesis that whites and Asians will maintain their positions, whereas the number of blacks who vote Democratic will drop by 1 percent, since there will be no candidate of their race on the ballot, as there was in 2008 and 2012 with Barack Obama.
The surging importance of the Hispanic vote is also explained by the growing representation in the electorate of this minority, which in 2004 constituted 7 percent of voters, 8 percent in 2008, 9 percent in 2012, while estimates for 2016 put it at 10.4 percent, according to figures provided by Latino Decisions.
At a local level, the Latino vote could have a decisive role in key electoral districts that are most likely to switch political preferences and where the Republican hopeful for the White House needs to convince between 42 and 47 percent of Latinos.