More than 7.6 million Latinos went to the polls in the national elections of 2004, increasing their voter participation by more than 1.6 million over the 2000 presidential election, according to preliminary results of a turnout study conducted by the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) on Election Day. Latinos also significantly increased their overall voting strength nationwide, registering to vote in record numbers.
"Latinos registered to vote and cast their votes in record numbers this presidential election," said Antonio Gonzalez, president of WCVI. "This is the first election where more than 10 million Latinos registered to vote, a significant milestone, which translated into more than 7.5 million votes for the presidential candidates."
According to analyses by the William C. Velasquez Institute, Latinos accounted for 7.65 million votes cast nationally. For the first time, Latino voter registration topped 10 million, totaling a significant 10.2 million total Latinos registered to vote. In all, three-quarters of Latinos who were registered to vote voted in the 2004 election. For the 2000 presidential election, Latino voter registration was estimated at 7.546 million. Nearly 6 million Latinos (5.934 million) cast their vote for president in the 2000 election, representing a 79% voter turnout.
A WCVI exit survey concluded that Latinos voting on Election Day supported democratic challenger John Kerry over President George W. Bush by a margin of 67.7% to 31.4%. In determining the results for the presidential race, the WCVI exit survey interviewed 1,179 respondents in 46 precincts across 11 states on Election Day.