by Jeniffer Solis, Nevada Current
As early voting for the Nevada primary election winds down, analysts are turning their attention to how the state’s Latino electorate will shape the state’s midterm general election in the fall.
More than 165,000 Nevada Latinos will likely cast ballots this November, marking a nearly 6% increase from the 2020 general election, according to projections by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund.
On Wednesday the group released its 2022 Nevada Latino Voter Profile analyzing the Latino electorate in Nevada — including projected voter turnout, demographic trends, and population growth.
Latino voter turnout in Nevada midterm elections have gradually increased over the years. Between 2014 and 2018, there was dramatic growth in the number of Latino voters from, 97,000 to 156,000 — an increase of nearly 61%.
“Like in many other states across the nation, Latinos are expected to play a major role in this year’s election in the state of Nevada,” said NALEO CEO Arturo Vargas in a statement. “Furthermore, Latinos are poised to determine the outcome of the state’s congressional elections, including a contest that could tip the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. These trends point to another potentially historic election cycle that builds on the momentum of past political seasons like that of 2018.”
Nevada’s Latino population accounted for 43% of the state’s population growth during the past decade. Between 2010 and 2020, Nevada’s Latino population grew from about 716,000 to more than 890,000, a 24% increase. By contrast, the state’s non-Latino population increased by about 12%.
Latinos in Nevada have used that growth to demand representation in local government. In 2021, 33 Latinos served in Nevada local elected offices, including county, municipal, school board and judicial roles.
According to the analysis, Latinos in Nevada are more likely to be Democrats than non-Latinos, with 44% of Latinos affiliating with the Democratic Party, compared to 31% of non-Latinos.
More than two of every five Latino registered voters (41%) are not affiliated with any major party, compared to 36% of non-Latinos. Less than one of every six Latino registered voters, or 15%, is Republican, according to the analysis.
Nevada’s Latino voters are also expected to be younger than non-Latino voters, with 18–34-year-olds comprising nearly half of all Latino registered voters in the state.
Analysts for the report said several factors are likely to shape the political landscape for Nevada’s midterm elections, including the state’s redistricting that followed the 2020 Census. Latino groups in Nevada argued that the Democrats’ final redistricting map diluted Latino voting power in some districts by splitting the Latino community between two Congressional districts.
In the 1st Congressional District, Latinos make up about 32% of eligible voters, however, before the redistricting, there was a stronger Latino presence in the district. A portion of those voters were shuffled into the 4th Congressional District during redistricting, and Latinos now make up nearly 31% eligible voters in CD4.
Latinos also comprise a majority of eligible voters in the 2nd state Senate District, and more than 40% of eligible voters in the 4th and 21st Senate districts, according to the report. In the final redistricted state Assembly plan, Latinos make up a majority of eligible voters in four districts (the 6th, 11th, 14th, and 28th), and more than 40% of eligible voters in the 12th Assembly District.
“Amid our projections, it is critical that Latino outreach and engagement efforts are sustained in the lead up to the election and beyond,” Vargas said.
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