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Brookings Mountain West

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Over the course of the past decade, Nevada’s Latino population has grown appreciably. Immigrants from Mexico and other parts of Latin America accounted for most of the growth in the state’s Latino population during this period. Nevertheless, the number of U.S.‐born and naturalized Latinos residing in Nevada has also increased, and this growth has altered the political landscape of the state. Indeed, the density of Latinos in the Nevada’s electorate expanded steadily between 2000 and 2010 (see Figure 3). Although recent studies have pointed to the potential significance of Nevada’s growing Latino electorate, the influences on Latino political participation in the state remain poorly understood.

In this paper, we attempt to fill this gap by developing a political profile of Nevada’s Latino community. We begin by examining how two important electoral institutions – redistricting and term limits – affected Latino representation between 2000 and 2013. Next, we present aggregate data detailing turnout patterns among Latino voters in the 2000–2012 elections in Nevada. The third part of our analysis offers an individual level examination of Latino participation in the 2012 election, including analysis of presidential vote preferences by gender, age, education, and income, as well as an assessment of the geography of the Latino electorate in Clark County. We conclude by examining how increased participation and mobilization of Nevada’s Latino community has reshaped Nevada’s political landscape. The Appendix provides an overview of the data sources used here including discussions of the methodological issues that the use of these data raises.


Hispanic Americans – Political activity; Identity politics; Nevada; Political participation; Politics; Practical


American Politics | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Models and Methods | Political Science | Politics and Social Change | Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies