Washington – While the full results remain unknown as votes are still being counted, the 2022 midterm elections saw a historic turnout by voters. A critical part of this was newly naturalized citizens or “New American Voters,” an emerging voting bloc that has grown by 5.19 million since 2016, including more than 1.5 million since 2020. Recognizing this group’s growth and diversity, the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) and SEIU, along with NPNA member organizations and national partners, worked to mobilize newly naturalized citizens to increase voter registration efforts and turnout rates in states where they reside in large numbers through the New American Voters 2022 campaign. Early exit polling data suggests that Latino and Asian Americans, many of which are presumably naturalized citizens or first and second generation immigrants, were influential voting groups this year.
New American voters are a multi-racial, multi-generational, slightly majority women group of voters and almost 90 percent of newly naturalized citizens are originally from the Americas, Asia, and Africa. The number of newly naturalized citizens is larger than the margins of victory for the 2020 presidential election in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, as outlined in NPNA’s July 2022 report, and will almost certainly outnumber the margin of victory in the 2022 midterm races that are still being counted and that will determine who controls the United States Senate. With approximately 9.2 million lawful permanent residents potentially eligible to naturalize, New American Voters are expected to continue to be a growing electoral force in American politics. In a testament to the electoral power of New Americans, a record number of South Asian Americans registered historic wins in state senate and assembly races, as well as candidates of color with immigrant heritage.
While final votes are tallied in Arizona and Nevada, and the country awaits the run off results from Georgia, we can extrapolate that New American Voters will play a pivotal role in the outcome of these races. New American Voters from Latin America are the largest share of the newly naturalized population in Arizona (55%) and Nevada (47%), and second largest in Georgia (36%) and Pennsylvania (27%), and early exit polling from America’s Voice (AV) provides context on some of the issues on their minds at the ballot box. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) also conducted exit polling on Asian Americans, which can provide some context for the top issues for Asian new American voters, the largest share of New American Voter population in Pennsylvania (45%) and Georgia (39%), and second largest in Nevada (38%) and Arizona (29%).
“To stay politically relevant, elected officials across the political spectrum must engage and address the issues facing New American Voters, which will be an increasingly important electoral constituency. New American Voters went to the polls with the same issues in mind of all voters, inflation, healthcare, school safety were top of mind,” said Nicole Melaku, executive director of NPNA. “Leading into the 2024 electoral cycle, we will continue our push with state, municipal and local partners in creating welcoming communities for immigrants and refugees to increase naturalization rates, and double down on efforts along with NPNA’s 60 member organizations in 40 states and national partners to ensure these new American citizens register to vote and become civically engaged in the political process.”
“Ensuring eligible immigrants can continue to become citizens and make their voices heard at the ballot box is an essential strategy to protecting and expanding our democracy,” said Diego Iniguez-Lopez, Associate Director of Policy and Campaigns.
Mynellies Negrón | (703) 585-6727 | email@example.com