January 23, 2012

Latinos in the 2012 Election: Florida


This profile provides Florida voter registration data, including party affiliation, as reported by the Florida Division of Elections through January 3, 2012. It also provides key demographic information on Latino eligible voters1 and other major groups of eligible voters in Florida.2 All demographic data are based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey.3

Florida Voter Registration Statistics

According to the Florida Division of Elections, final registration statistics for the state’s January 31 presidential primary show that 1,473,920 Latinos are registered to vote statewide. Overall, Latinos make up 13.1% of the state’s more than 11.2 million registered voters. Among Latino registered voters, 452,619 are registered as Republicans, making up 11.1% of all Republican registered voters. And 564,513 Latino registered voters are registered as Democrats, representing 12.4% of all Democratic registered voters.

As recently as 2006, more Hispanics in Florida were registered as Republicans than as Democrats. By 2008, the balance tipped over to the Democrats. This year that trend has accelerated, with the gap—111,894 registered voters—between Hispanics who are registered as Democrats and those registered as Republicans wider now than in 2008 or 2010.

Geographically, the majority of Hispanic Republican registered voters are located in South Florida. According to the Division of Elections, 58.5% (264,721) are in Miami-Dade County alone. By contrast, among the state’s Hispanic Democratic registered voters, a smaller share, 33.9% (191,359), are registered to vote in Miami-Dade County.

Hispanics in Florida’s Eligible Voter Population

Characteristics of Eligible Voters

Characteristics of Eligible Voters in Florida, by Race and Ethnicity

  1. Eligible voters are defined as U.S. citizens ages 18 and older. Eligible voters are not the same as registered voters. To cast a vote, in all states except North Dakota, an eligible voter must first register to vote.
  2. The terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are used interchangeably. References to “whites,” “blacks,” and “Asians” are to the non-Hispanic components of those populations.
  3. This statistical profile of eligible voters in Florida is based on the Census Bureau's 2010 American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is the largest household survey in the United States, with a sample of about 3 million addresses. The data used for this statistical profile come from the 2010 ACS Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS), representing a 1% sample of the U.S. population. Like any survey, estimates from the ACS are subject to sampling error and (potentially) measurement error. Information on the ACS sampling strategy and associated error is available at http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/data_documentation/pums/Accuracy/2010AccuracyPUMS.pdf.