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An Election Without Hispanics

Much has been said about the voting power of Hispanics in the United States. Few people have any doubt about their influence on elections at the state and federal level. The notion that it is impossible to win the White House without the Hispanics has been gathering strength. And the same thing is happening in many states throughout the nation in the election of senators and governors.

But what is happening at the local level? Today Hispanics represent almost 18% of the U.S. population, but Hispanics make up only 6% of the representatives in the Lower House. Of the 435 representatives elected according to congressional district, only 29 are of Hispanic origin. And many complain about their limited political power.

There are many reasons given for this: a high geographic concentration, a large number of undocumented individuals, and a marked lack of interest in politics, mostly among those who have recently attained citizenship. And it is believed that greater electoral participation would change the country’s political scenario.

A rigorous statistical analysis conducted by Data4 for Univision Noticias nevertheless shows that Hispanics are already an important political force and if none of them voted in elections such as those next November 4th, the impact on the distribution of political power between the parties would be even greater than what would be the case if all of them voted.

If all Hispanics older than 18, regardless of their status, were to go out and vote in November, the Democrats would win as many as seven districts in addition to those predicted they will win. But if none of them voted, then they may lose as many as 38.

Without those 38 districts, eight of the Hispanic representatives who are seeking reelection would be defeated. And among the 194 districts where it is expected that the Democrats will win this election, the number would be reduced to 155.

The following display delves into the political power of Hispanics in the United States and shows what would happen if Hispanics did not vote in the November elections, or if all of them voted.(The download may take a few seconds).

Visualization: Data4 for Univision Noticias. Photo: Getty Images. Programming: Edmundo Hidalgo, Cary Tabares. Project management: José Fernando López.

© 2014 Univision Communications Inc