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Data: New American Economy; Chart: Axios Visuals

Immigrant voters could be pivotal this fall to election outcomes in some battleground suburbs, according to a new analysis of county-level Census data reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: Texas, Georgia and Virginia as well as Florida could see swings with statewide or national implications. Congressional races to watch include Texas' 22nd district, Georgia's 7th and California's 39th, 45th, and 48th — reaching into counties where immigrants comprise around one in five eligible voters, according to the analysis by New American Economy (NAE).

The big picture: Growing and spreading immigrant populations have helped shift the political landscape in recent years. Foreign-born voters will make up nearly one-tenth of the electorate in 2020 — a record percentage.

Be smart: Not all immigrants vote alike, but growing foreign-born populations are expected to help Democrats amid President Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies.

Between the lines: Immigrant voting power is growing beyond cities to surrounding counties — including some where House seats flipped in 2018, NAE's director of quantitative research Andrew Lim told Axios.

  • "I think for many years past it was just regarded as a big city issue," Lim said. "That is clearly no longer the case."

What to watch: Johnson and Polk counties in Iowa are emerging as new immigrant hubs. Immigrants also are moving to less-expected places such as Twin Falls, Idaho (8.5%) and Cass County, North Dakota (6.8%).

  • Non-white foreign-born voters are also more likely to turn out to vote than U.S.-born racial and ethnic minorities, according to Pew Research Center.
  • But coronavirus restrictions and delays mean more than 300,000 immigrants who would have been eligible to vote in November likely won't be, said pro-immigration group Boundless.

Go deeper

Voter suppression then and now

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Barry Lewis/Getty Images 

From its start, the United States gave citizens the right to vote — as long as they were white men who owned property. From counting a slave as 3/5 of a white man to the creation of the Electoral College, there's a through-line of barriers that extends to today based on racial politics.

Why it matters: 150 years after the 15th Amendment — and 55 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act — people of color still face systemic obstacles to voting.

Restoring the vote to Americans with felony records

Expand chart
Data: The Sentencing Project; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Mass incarceration has fueled Black voter disenfranchisement for decades in the U.S.

Why it matters: More than 5 million Americans are unable to vote because of a felony record, and they are disproportionately Black. The fight to undo felon disenfranchisement laws is gaining ground and could radically shift the political landscape. But progress is also fueling opposition.

1 hour ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.