NATIONWIDE – A new report released on July 20 by the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) and SEIU presents the profile of the New American Voters 2022 that could significantly influence the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections. The report showcases the demographic composition and geographical distribution of new Americans and how their voting power can substantially impact election outcomes in politically important states.
The findings are based on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data on naturalization from 2016 to 2020, as well as naturalization applications that the agency approved in 2021.
The report finds that a powerful voting bloc of over five million newly naturalized citizens could change the outcome of upcoming midterm elections in key states like Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Since 2016, more than four million of these voters naturalized in response to the Trump administration’s multiple attacks on immigrant and refugee communities. These new voters particularly come from African, Latin American, Caribbean, Asian, and Pacific Islander countries. The report concludes that targeting these voters is paramount to ensuring voter turnout in the upcoming elections.
Recognizing this electoral power, NPNA and SEIU, along with its member organizations and national partners, are pivoting to mobilize newly naturalized citizens to increase voter registration efforts and turnout rates through the New American Voters 2022 campaign. This campaign strategically targets newly naturalized citizens, especially in states where they reside in large numbers, to encourage them to get out to vote and exercise their democratic rights. The campaign uses multiple approaches, including digital and social media platforms and partnerships with mayors and counties, to spread the message to newly naturalized citizens.
“This is a powerful voting bloc of people who are multi-racial, multi-cultural, and composed of a slight majority of women who have the power to shape electoral outcomes across the country. At a time when anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies are spreading like wildfire in our country, the new American voters can uplift their voices and determine the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections in politically important states, which could influence who will control U.S. Congress in 2023. Together with our partners, we are determined to encourage new Americans to register and exercise their most influential democratic right by voting,” said Nicole Melaku, NPNA’s new Executive Director.
“New American Voters are poised to exercise their power in unprecedented ways this fall at the polls. They represent tremendous untapped electoral potential – nearly 9 million people are currently eligible to become naturalized citizens. Just as working people voted in record numbers in 2020 to bring about change, New American Voters will lead the charge in November to reject the cynical politics of Trump et al, build a government that works for all of us, and secure the American Dream,” said Elsa Caballero, SEIU Texas President.
Some of the key findings include:
- Rapidly growing voting bloc: Newly naturalized citizens are a potential voting block of over 5.19 million that is multi-racial, multi-generational, and are composed of a slight majority of women.
- Naturalization in response to anti-immigrant rhetoric: The large majority of the estimated 5.19 million newly naturalized citizens, 4.4 million of which naturalized after the election of Donald Trump, have responded to the Trump administration’s multiple attacks on immigrant and refugee communities by naturalizing.
- An important majority are People of Color (POC): Almost 90 percent (89.9 percent) of newly naturalized citizens who naturalized from 2016 to 2020 are originally from the Americas, Asia, and Africa.
- Multigenerational: Roughly one third of newly naturalized citizens were 18 to 34 years old when they naturalized (31.7 percent). Over one third were 35 to 49 years old (36.9 percent). And roughly one third were 50 years or older when they naturalized (31.4 percent).
- If they vote, newly naturalized citizens can sway outcomes in upcoming elections in politically important states like Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Florida, among others.
- The number of newly naturalized citizens from 2016 to 2020 is larger than the margins of victory for the 2020 presidential election in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
- In Georgia, the 2021 Senate runoff election was won by 93,272 votes. The 96,469 newly naturalized citizens in Georgia between 2016 and 2020 exceeds the 2021 Senate runoff election margin.
- In Arizona, newly naturalized citizens from 2016 to 2020 from Mexico were the largest national origin group for that state. Their figures were larger than the margin of victory during the 2020 presidential election.
- In Nevada, newly naturalized citizens from 2016 to 2020 from Latin American and Caribbean countries, combined with those from Asian and Pacific Islander countries, are larger than the margin of victory during the 2020 presidential election.