Pew Research published a report on Wednesday pointed out that “one-in-ten” voters in this year’s U.S. presidential election are immigrants. The publication stated that most (61%) of the newly minted voters (23 million) live in five states. Will they influence the presidential election? Because of Donald Trump’s war on immigrants, that is an important question to ponder.
According to Pew, California (5.5 million) has the most newest immigrant voters. Florida and New York each have 2.5 million newly minted voters. Texas, with 1.8 million new immigrant voters and New Jersey with 1.2 million round out the top five states.
The presidential election, like past elections will come down to the individual that gathers at least 270 electoral votes.
California has 55 electoral votes. Florida has 29. New York also has 29 electoral votes. Texas has 38 and New Jersey has 14 electoral votes for a total of 165 electoral votes.
The electoral college math means that new immigrant voters can influence 60% of the electoral college votes.
But will the new immigrant voters make a difference?
The obvious answer is that if they cast a vote, they will absolutely make a difference. However, immigrants do not vote on the same issue, except possibly on the immigration question. But, is the immigrant question significant across the various ethnicities and social economic stratus of the immigrant voters?
According to Pew, the Asians account for the largest ethnicity of the immigrants in California. In Florida and in Texas, the Latinos account for the largest ethnic group among the new voters. In New Jersey, the ethnic makeup of the new immigrant voters is almost equally divided among Asians and Hispanics.
This reality complicates things. Asians and Latinos do not face the same immigration challenges. Furthermore, Asians have a different worldview and thus tend to focus on different issues from the Hispanics.
Making this even more difficult is that Latinos have different key issues that drives them to vote.
For example, according to the Pew report, newly minted immigrant voters in California and Texas were born in México. In Florida, it is the Cubans who make up the largest place of birth for the new voters. For Mexicans, the issue is likely about immigration via the southern border.
But for the Cubans the issue us about communism and Castro’s legacy on the island.
Thus, for the Mexicans the preferred candidate will be the one that advocates for immigration reform while for the Cubans in Florida, the driving issue will be the candidate that advocates ridding Cuba of the Castro legacy.
Will the newly minted immigrants vote on Election Day remains an open question. More importantly is whether they will lead to enough votes to send Donald Trump packing.