We've heard the overused "sleeping giant" reference often to refer to the Latino electorate, that which is composed of far more eligible voters - and people eligible for citizenship who can't yet vote - than the number of Latinos who actually hit the polls. This giant has also supposedly awakened a few times in recent election years, as turnout has improved. But not really.
The Center for American Progress has put together an interactive map and graphic list that starkly illustrates just how few Latino U.S. citizens who could be voting aren't doing so, along with how many legal permanent residents there are who could become citizens and vote, but have not.
In California, for example, it's estimated that there are more than 2 million Latino U.S. citizens who aren't registered to vote, and more than 2.3 million legal permanent residents who are eligible for citizenship but have not taken that step. The same holds true for Texas: More than 2.1 million unregistered Latino citizens, and close to 900,000 LPRs eligible for citizenship.
Also listed are the top ten states with the highest concentrations of potential voters, led by California and also including Texas, New York, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico, Virginia and Nevada. From the text accompanying the interactive map:
In some key battleground states, the number of eligible but unregistered Latino voters runs into the hundreds of thousands or even millions. On top of these millions of potential voters, the Department of Homeland Security estimates that there are 8.1 million legal permanent residents, or green card holders, that are eligible to become citizens and vote in the fall election.
The list of the top ten states also explains at what point these potential voters could swing elections. It can be viewed here.