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Reaching Older Latinos to Help Seal the Vote

3 minute read | October 2015

In anticipation of next year’s presidential election, political buzz is in full swing, and the U.S. is gearing up for what could possibly be another historic election following the election of the first African-American U.S. president in 2008. While campaign planners continue to develop and solidify outreach strategies, the potential impact of Hispanic Boomer (50-64) and Greatest Generation (65+) voters on the election process is notable.

Older Latinos have the potential to be decisive swing votes in many upcoming local and state elections, as detailed in The New American Vanguard: Latinos 50+ – Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. These voters are a growing force in states such as California, Texas, Florida and New York, which have been touted for their electoral clout. In the 2012 presidential election, the turn out for eligible Latino voters increased as age went up. Sixty percent of Latinos 65+ voted in the 2012 presidential election, which was higher than all other age groups for Latino voters. And more than half of those aged between 40 and 64 voted that same year (54%). The rise in the percentage of 50+ Latino voters, along with the increasing diversity of candidates representing both political parties, will ensure that race and ethnicity will continue to play a pivotal role in future U.S. elections.


Older Hispanics are cultural stewards and play a key role in sustaining and passing along cultural ties and values to younger generations. The top issues in order of importance for registered Hispanic voters are education, jobs/the economy and health care. However, more than 70% of Hispanic Boomer and Greatest Generation voters expressed immigration as a very or extremely important issue. Understanding the language nuances and media preferences for older Hispanics is equally important. Older Hispanics communicate often in Spanish and frequently promote bilingual media use – both Spanish- and English-language media.

As potential presidential and local candidates continue to hit the campaign trail, savvy media planners should consider using a variety of platforms to reach voters. Overall, Latinos indicate a preference for using both digital and traditional media platforms. Hispanic Greatest Generation viewers watch almost double the amount of television a month than total Hispanics. Hispanic Boomers use the Internet on the computer about two hours more a month than total Hispanics.

In addition to digital and traditional media, older Hispanics are at the forefront of viewership changes and are adopting the latest technologies at higher levels than their non-Hispanic white counterparts. U.S.-born Hispanics aged 50-64 say they are interested in watching live TV on their cell phones at a level 64% higher than non-Hispanic white counterparts of similar ages. They are also 27% more likely to say they are interested in watching video clips on mobile phones. The levels for U.S.- and foreign-born Greatest Generation Hispanics are equally high with 95% of U.S.-born Hispanics indicating an interest in watching live TV on mobile phones, while 87% of foreign-born Hispanics agree.

Additional insights from the report include:

  • Older Hispanics buy more frequently than younger Hispanics and non-Hispanic white peers in nearly 75% of all major fast-moving consumer goods departments, including health and beauty, general merchandise and non-edible grocery items.
  • Greatest Generation Hispanic shoppers (65+) have a preference for brand-name products, buying at least one branded item 141 times annually, compared to of frequency rate of 75 for store brand items.
  • Hispanic Boomers (50-64) watch 162 hours of traditional TV per month.
  • Foreign-born Hispanics 65+ think of their mobile phones as a source of entertainment at a level 84% higher than non-Hispanic white peers.

For additional insights, download The New American Vanguard: Latinos 50+ Are Healthy, Wealthy and Wise report.

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