The Rise of the Florida Hispanic Electorate

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According to Pew Research Center, in 1980 there were 14,775,080 Hispanics living in the United States, and by 2014, that figure had risen to 55,250,517. Florida has the third largest Hispanic population in the country, and with the population continuing to rise, how can we expect it to impact our state and local elections?

According to the Florida Office of Economic & Demographic Research, 17.1% of Seminole County’s population is Hispanic and Orange County is 26.6%. We see the effect of the Hispanic population in these counties as Hispanics who are registered Democrats dwarf those who are registered Republicans. In the general election, Donald Trump only won Seminole County by 4,000 votes. Seminole could have easily gone the other way.

The I-4 corridor, which consists of Seminole, Orange, Osceola, and Polk Counties, has seen the largest growth of Hispanic populations in the state. Despite Hispanic voters across the nation having a record low turnout, Florida saw a surge of Hispanic voters in the general election with 900,000 turning out, many of whom were voting for the first time. With upcoming elections across the state, it will be interesting to see how the Hispanic voters’ turnout to elections will make an impact.

Photo by Erik Hersman via Flickr.

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