New Jersey Republican governor Chris Christie was able to capture the Latino vote in his landslide re-election on Tuesday. According to the Pew Research Center, Christie carried 51 percent of the Latino vote, in comparison to the 32 percent he carried in 2009.
The 19 percent increase for the Republican governor comes at a time when the Latino vote is becoming more crucial in order to win an election. “Today, more than 23 million Latinos are eligible to vote, and a record 11.2 million voted in 2012,” says the Pew Research Center. In 2012, it was reported only ten percent of Latino voters believed that “the Republican Party has more concern for Hispanics than the Democratic Party.”
To put the importance of the Latino vote in perspective, in 2008, Senator John McCain won only 31 percent of it; in 2012, Governor Mitt Romney won a mere 27 percent of the Hispanic vote. But in 2004, George W. Bush was reelected with 40 percent of the Hispanic vote.
President Obama was reelected with 69 percent of the Latino voters, as registered Latino voters tend to favor Democratic candidates.
On the eve of Christie’s reelection, New Jersey Democratic Assemblywoman Annette Quijano said, “Chris Christie is not going to be sweeping the Latino community on Election Day.” Quijano’s comments come at the heels of Christie campaigning beside New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, the nation’s first Latina governor, just days before the election, according to PolitickerNJ.