Hillary Clinton’s campaign is touting an “unprecedented” rate of early voting among Latino voters in Florida, citing a 99 percent increase from 2012 in the number of ballots cast so far.
According to a report put out by the campaign Monday, more than 133,000 Florida Latinos have already voted.
José Dante Parra, a former senior adviser to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and a Democratic strategist, said that the figure was “significant for many reasons.”
“Minorities in general tend not to vote until Election Day,” Parra told TPM. “The fact that people are turning out earlier tells you that people are more attuned to the election and everything that’s happening.”
Avi Green, former executive director of voting rights organization MassVOTE, told TPM via email that the Clinton campaign’s number could indicate a “backlash surge” against Republican efforts to strengthen voting restrictions, including attempts to limit early voting.
Green said that the figure was “extremely compelling” if accurate.
“Because historical average turnout rates among Latinos are lower than among African-Americans, there are more infrequent voters available to activate,” Green wrote. “It’s possible that Donald Trump may have triggered a surge of Latino activism nationwide.”
“There’s nothing about that number that’s not a big deal,” Democratic consultant Steve Schale said. “Florida does report exactly who votes every day, so those numbers are accurate.”
Schale said that the statistic was “a sign of enthusiasm,” and reflected an influx of first-time voters and an increase in voter diversity.
“The more diverse the electorate, the better we’re going to be,” he said, adding that it “would just make Secretary Clinton’s path to victory much easier.”
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