POLITICS

Organizers of Latino get-out-the-vote wait to see if their efforts paid off

POMPANO BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 04:  Mary Collante (L) and Zunilda Boone along with other members of the Florida Immigrant Coalition prepare to go door to door looking to sign up voters during a voter registration drive by on October 4, 2012 in Pompano Beach, Florida. Efforts to get people to register to vote for the upcoming presidential election ends on Tuesday the 9th when the voting rolls close in Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

POMPANO BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 04: Mary Collante (L) and Zunilda Boone along with other members of the Florida Immigrant Coalition prepare to go door to door looking to sign up voters during a voter registration drive by on October 4, 2012 in Pompano Beach, Florida. Efforts to get people to register to vote for the upcoming presidential election ends on Tuesday the 9th when the voting rolls close in Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)  (2012 Getty Images)

Now the wait.

Latino organizations and immigration advocacy groups across the country say they are hopeful their efforts to get Hispanics to vote will translate into not only a record turnout at the polls this year, but that the electorate steps up in larger proportions than it ever has before to cast ballots.

Latino turnout typically has lagged behind other groups, with about 48 percent of eligible voters participating in the last presidential election, compared to 66.2 of eligible African-Americans and 64.1 percent of white non-Latinos.

But this election cycle saw Latino-targeted registration and voting drives around the country, mainly prompted by the controversial candidacy of Republican real estate mogul Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, Javier Palomarez, the president of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, sent out a statement saying, "Never before has the Hispanic electorate played such an important role, and never again will a president be elected without openly courting the Hispanic votes.”

“Tonight, we're about to see that come true, as Hispanics deliver a crushing win for Hillary against Donald Trump,” said Palomarez, whose group broke with tradition and for the first time endorsed a presidential candidate, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Of the nation’s 27 million eligible Latino voters, some 16 million are registered and estimates projected that about 13 million would vote this year.

Republicans have urged Latinos not to discount their party, which, they argue, more clearly represents the social and family values of the community.

Many Latino Republicans have expressed dismay over Trump’s comments about Mexico and undocumented immigrants, among other things, that have upset many Hispanics and other minorities.

But they have tried to argue that the GOP, unlike the Democrats, was the one to offer a more diverse field of candidates – an African-American, two Latinos and a woman – in the primary.

Various organizations on all sides of the political spectrum targeted Latinos in battleground states, as well as regions where there are competitive local statewide races, in an attempt to register them and get them out to polling stations.

Early voting in various critical states showed a rise in Latino turnout. Those states included Nevada, where Catherine Cortez Masto, a former state attorney general, is running a strong campaign against Republican Rep. Joe Heck for the U.S. Senate to replace retiring Sen. Harry Reid.

Florida also showed a sharp rise in Latino turnout in early voting.

Latino voter registration was said to be up sharply in other key states, such as Georgia and North Carolina.

Latino-targeted radio and television ads ran in Wisconsin, where “statewide elections are close enough that the growing Latinx vote can make a difference,” said Voces de la Frontera Action in a statement, using a gender-neutral term for Hispanics that is coming into vogue with younger adults.

“During the election, immigrant and Latinx families have been under constant attack from Donald Trump and his Republican allies like Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, the group’s executive director. “We know that when Latinxs vote in their full strength, we determine the outcome of state and national elections.”

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Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for FoxNews.com, and can be reached at Elizabeth.Llorente@Foxnews.com. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Llorente.