What does this mean for the 2020 election? As the lives of the people behind those statistics unfold, Guillory says, the ramifications could be significant. “Consider that a 15-year-old Hispanic high school sophomore will be a 22- or 23-year old young adult in 2020,” he says. “That sophomore— and most of his or her peers — will have gone through U.S. education: public schools, and hopefully community college or university.”
This emerging Hispanic cohort will form a larger share of registered voters than their parents form now, Guillory says. “In certain battleground states, including North Carolina and Virginia, that will shift Hispanic voters from … to use my old high school physics terminology … from potential power-energy to actual power-energy.”
That power-energy, Guillory says, will vary from state to state. Hispanic voters are already influential in California, where for years Democrats and Republicans have been vying for their support.
Around the rest of the country, the competition is intensifying. The growing interest in Spanish-speaking voters (Hispanocrats … Hispanblicans?) was borne out in the 2012 nominating conventions. Rubio introduced Mitt Romney at the Republican gathering in Tampa and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro was a keynote speaker at the Democratic convention in Charlotte.