Much has been made in the last few days of the high Hispanic/Latino turnout we are seeing from the early vote in several states. That’s as it should be. It would be poetic justice for the demographic group Trump did everything he could to alienate, to be the ones to ensure his defeat in November.
That said, it’s important to remember that the conventional wisdom not so long ago was against the notion that Latinos would turn out in record numbers. A USA Today study seemed to indicate that Trump wasn’t generating the sort of voter registration surge among Hispanics that some might have expected. Instead, Hispanic registration seemed to increase linearly, by the same percentage margins that it had in 2012.
But our own Anne Kim here at Washington Monthly adduced her own evidence that there might be a surge in Latino turnout based on primary vote numbers. Of particular interest was evidence from Georgia:
In Gwinnett County northeast of Atlanta, for example, where Latinos make up 20.4 percent of the population, 26.1 percent of registered Latino voters cast ballots in the presidential primaries, according to data collected by the Georgia Secretary of State. That’s just shy of the national turnout rate of 28.5 percent.
Turnout was even stronger in other large counties with sizeable Latino populations. In DeKalb County, for instance, which includes a portion of Atlanta and is 9.1 percent Hispanic, 33.9 percent of registered voters turned out to vote. In Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, Latino turnout was 31.9 percent, and in Cobb County, which is 12.6 percent Hispanic, turnout was 32.5 percent.
Turnout among young Latinos was also surprisingly high:
Particularly telling was the turnout rate among Georgia’s young Latino voters, ages 18-24, the vast majority of whom voted in the Democratic primary. Of the 4,224 Latino voters in this age group registered in Gwinnett County, for instance, the Democratic primary turnout exceeded the rate for both whites and blacks: 15 percent among men, compared to 10.6 percent for blacks and 8.8 percent for whites; and 17 percent among women, compared to 14.3 percent for blacks and 8.9 percent for whites.
Now it’s looking as if Ms. Kim may have been right. The numbers out of Nevada alone might be enough to deny Trump the presidency. It would be just deserts for a campaign built on xenophobia and racism.