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Charlotte Talks Politics: Latino Voters Can Flex Their Power In 2020 - If They Turn Out

Flickr / Eric Hersman

Monday, Feb. 17, 2020

As the Democratic presidential race shifts to Nevada this week, candidates are beginning to face more diverse electorates, including Nevada's sizable Latino population.

2020 marks the first election in which Latinos are expected to be the country's largest minority, yet they have the smallest share of eligible voters, according to the Pew Research Center.

Of those who are eligible, most live in states that have an early say in the Democratic race, including Nevada, California and North Carolina, whose Hispanic population is one of the fastest-growing in the county. Still, the Latino vote is a small slice of the Tar Heel electorate - 3 percent.

There were expectations of a Latino voter surge in 2016, but when the polls closed, turnout was down slightly from 2012. But in 2018, Latino turnout jumped 13 percent from the 2014 midterm.

What does the Hispanic vote look like in 2020? What are the challenges in getting Latinos registered, and then getting them to the polls?


Olma Echeverri, former chair of the Hispanic American Democrats of North Carolina; member of Gov. Cooper's advisory council on Hispanic/Latino affairs (@OlmaEcheverri)

Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew Research Center, director of global migration and demography research (@mhugolopez)

Gregory Weeks, UNC Charlotte, associate dean for academic affairs; expert on Latin American politics and U.S.-Latin American relations (@GregWeeksCLT)

A veteran of Charlotte radio news, Chris joined the "Charlotte Talks" staff in January 2016, but has been listening to WFAE since discovering the station as a high schooler.