With reports coming in from several states about historic turnout by Latino voters, a new tracking poll supports the argument that something real is happening for Hillary Clinton.
The tracking poll conducted by polling firm Latino Decisions for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) began eight weeks ago and Clinton has hit full stride with Latinos just two days before the election. With eagerness over the 2016 race at its highest mark since the tracking poll began, 55 percent of Latino voters are more enthusiastic over this election than they were in 2012, say experts.
The tracking poll numbers show Clinton receiving her highest favorability rating among Latinos in the last week of the tracking poll, now at 70 percent. By contrast, Donald Trump continues to occupy low ratings among Latinos, now at 17 percent. Perhaps most important for the Democrats in down ballot races, favorability ratings for Democrats in Congress have also reached their highest point since the poll began, at 65 percent.
Swing states like Florida, Nevada and North Carolina as well as states like Texas are reporting upswings in early voting among Latinos.
Lines in Nevada had to stay open late to accommodate voters in Clark County as early voters swamped polling places in Latino neighborhoods. Jon Ralston, a longtime political analyst in Nevada crunched the numbers as they were being reported and relayed them in real-time over Twitter in dramatic fashion.
His analysis continues to conclude that Latino voters in Nevada have formed a fire line of support for Clinton that is highly unlikely to fall on election day. Ralston wrote, "About two-thirds of the votes already have been banked if the past is prologue, [Trump] is cooked. Believe me!"
Florida saw record turnout, as well, among Latinos, making up almost 14 percent of the early vote tally in the Sunshine State compared to 10 percent in 2012.
Turnout by Latinos, experts predict, could have far reaching implications for future elections in locations where Hispanics have not traditionally been a concern for Republicans.
Dave Wasserman, editor of Cook Political Report, reported record numbers in Latino counties in Virginia, such as Manassas County, Prince William County, and Fairfax County. Manassas and Prince William are 35 percent and 22 percent Latino, respectively, and they saw increases of 51 percent for Manassas and 62 percent in Prince William.
With the election two days away, researchers are cautiously optimistic about the Latino vote. However, if the reports on the ground are consistent with the polling, we are likely to see historic record turnout among Hispanic voters.