October 1, 2012

Latinos in the 2012 Election: Florida

Updated November 5, 2012

This profile provides Florida voter registration data, including party affiliation, as reported by the Florida Division of Elections through July 16, 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 U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey.3

Florida Voter Registration Statistics

According to the Florida Department of State Division of Elections, 1,660,000 Latinos were registered to vote statewide as of book closing on October 9, 2012. Overall, Latinos make up 13.9% of the state’s more than 11.9 million active registered voters. Among Latino registered voters, 476,000 are registered as Republicans, making up 11.2% of all Republican registered voters. And 645,000 Latino registered voters are registered as Democrats, representing 13.5% of all Democratic registered voters.

As recently as 2006, more Hispanics in Florida were registered as Republicans (37%) than as Democrats (33%). By 2008, the balance tipped over to the Democrats. This year that trend has accelerated, with the gap between Hispanics who are registered as Democrats (39%) and those registered as Republicans (29%) 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, 57% (273,000) are in Miami-Dade County alone. By contrast, among the state’s Hispanic Democratic registered voters, a smaller share, 34% (217,000), are registered to vote in Miami-Dade County.

Hispanics have grown from 10.7% of the registered voters in 2006 to 13.9% today. They slightly outnumber black registered voters (13.6%). The share of white eligible voters has declined from 2006, when they composed 72.0% of registered voters. Whites today make up about two-thirds (66.5%) of registered voters, and Asians are an additional 1.6% of the state’s registered voters.

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 other races and ethnicities are to the non-Hispanic components of those populations.
  3. This statistical profile of eligible voters 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. More information is available on ACS sampling strategy and associated error.
  4. Rankings for “Percent of Hispanic population eligible to vote” are based on the District of Columbia and the 46 states whose Hispanic samples in the 2010 ACS are large enough to generate reliable estimates. All other rankings are based on the District of Columbia and the 50 states.