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Hispanic vote in Texas historically low

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Amarillo, TX - Hispanics are by far the largest minority group in Texas, officially comprising about 37% of the state's population.  But despite those numbers, Hispanics are also by far the least likely to vote.

According to a recent report from the Centers for Public Policy and Political Studies (see associated link), the Hispanic demographic accounted for the lion's share of the statewide population growth over the last decade.  But of those, only 43% were eligible to vote, and even less actually did.

West Texas A&M political science professor Dr. Dave Rausch illustrates the Hispanic significance in the political realm, saying,

"Political science has for a long time referred to the Hispanic vote as a 'sleeping giant.'  It is a large population, there is a large number of potential voters in the Hispanic population, but it's just the issue of trying to get them mobilized; how do we mobilize those voters?"

Potter County Commissioner Mercy Murguia says voter apathy has been high among the general population in recent years, saying,

"When you look at population not even from the Hispanic point of view, when you look at overall population in the city of Amarillo, or Potter County, or specifically for me, Precinct 2, the number of voters that are turning out is across the board consistently low."

Statewide, there are about 2.3 million registered voters who did not vote in the 2008 presidential election.

To read the report for yourself, or to see the latest local census data, follow the links attached to this story.

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