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    More Than Half of Hispanic Americans Do Not Vote in Midterms - PewResearch

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Fewer than half of Hispanics and Mexican Americans vote in US elections, Mark Hugo Lopez, Director Of Global Migration and Demography Research at PewResearch Center told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "In reality more than half of Hispanics, more than half of Mexican Americans do not turn out to vote," Lopez said. Lopez pointed out, however, that there has been an increase in interest in this year’s election compared to the 2014 midterm vote.

    "However, in other election cycles, in 2016 compared to say 2012, the number of Hispanics voting may have increased and a number of Mexican Americans who voted may have increased, but as a share it declined, which means that there are many more who don’t vote," he noted.

    Voters in all 50 US states are casting ballots today in the 2018 midterm elections. Today's vote will decide control of both the US Senate and House of Representatives, as well as state and local office holders.

    READ MORE: Clinton Sees US Midterms as Chance to Stop Trump's 'Attack' on Democracy

    When asked whether he expected Mexican Americans to actively participate in Tuesday’s vote, Lopez said, "It remains to be seen."

    "Some of the data we have seen indicates that Mexican immigrants, many Hispanics who can vote are enthusiastic about participating in this election," he explained. "But it remains to be seen what will happen on Election Day, because many also say that they haven’t been contacted by campaigns. That’s partly about where they live but it remains to be seen how many will turn out to vote."

    Lopez noted that in terms of party affiliation, Hispanics overall lean toward the Democratic Party.

    "About two-thirds who are registered to vote say they identified with or lean toward the Democratic Party," he said. "When we talk about their vote, our September survey of Hispanics overall showed that about two-thirds would support a Democratic candidate in their local election."

    Lopez pointed out that this year, the top issues for the Latino community are the economy, immigration and healthcare.

    Lopez also noted that in recent years, more Mexican immigrants have returned to Mexico than have migrated to the United States, leading to an overall decline in the Mexican immigrant population.

    "However, the story is very different for the rest of Latin America," he said, adding that populations from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Venezuela have been increasing.

    READ MORE: US Intel Community Sees No Election Infrastructure Compromised Ahead of Midterms

    Thousands of polling stations across the United States will stay open for voters for 12 to 13 hours on Tuesday to allow citizens to exercise their right to vote for candidates for 435 seats in the House Representatives and one-third of the 100 seats in the Senate. Voters will also have a chance to vote in statewide elections for governors and representatives in state legislatures, among other positions.

    Some polls have indicated that the Democrats are likely to capture the House of Representatives. If so, such a development would divide the US legislative branch and likely hinder President Donald Trump’s policy agenda for the next two years. However, some 30 or so House races are considered "tossups" and polls were dramatically wrong in the 2016 election.

    Results of the midterm congressional elections are also widely viewed as a referendum on the US president’s performance during his first two years in office.

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    hispanic americans, vote, midterms, PewResearch Center, Mark Hugo Lopez, United States
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