Hispanics are the fastest growing population in the United States. Their numbers grew by 43 percent between 2000 and 2010. The white population increased by less than 6 percent. However, only 30 percent of the Hispanics who were eligible to vote cast a ballot in 2010. Forty-nine percent of eligible whites voted.
Both political parties will try to increase Hispanic voter registration and voting in 2012. In 2010, Hispanic voters helped Democrats keep control of the U.S. Senate when they reelected Harry Reid of Nevada.
Going forward, Democrats and Republicans are seeking Hispanic votes. Politicians have to be careful. President Obama wants Hispanics to vote for him. However, his administration is enforcing laws that are resulting in a large number of deportations.
Experts say winning the Hispanic vote may be a reason both parties work for reform of immigration laws in 2012.
Democrats support social programs that help people. Republicans support economic growth in the private sector. Most Hispanics register as Democrats. However, both parties believe they can win the Hispanic vote. It is clear that 2012 will be an important year for Hispanic voters.