One Million More Latinos Projected to Vote in November

One million more Latinos are expected to vote on Nov. 2 than  those who went to the polls in 2006, according to projections from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

The non-partisan organization expects 6.5 million Latinos to vote next month, compared to 5.5 million during the midterm elections of 2006, a 17 percent jump.

It projects Latinos to account for 7 percent of all voters nationwide this year.

Further, Hispanics in some states will make up a significant portion of the electorate. NALEO said, for example, that in Arizona -- where Governor Jan Brewer signed a controversial law targeting immigrants -- Latinos will account for 18 percent of the vote, the organization predicted.

In New Mexico, where Susana Martínez is vying to become the nation's first Hispanic governor, Latinos are projected to make up about 34 percent of the vote.

NALEO's executive director, Arturo Vargas, said the organization was happy with the increase -- but is still working to ensure that the final numbers surpass their own estimates.

"Rest assured that we and many others are doing all we can to break on own projections," he said.

NALEO also reported that Latino candidates are running for federal or state offices in 41 states, up from 26 states in 1998.

"We've increased that participation now from coast to coast, border to border," Vargas said.