There’s a politically untapped Hispanic population in Texas that’s eligible to vote, but did not turn out for the 2012 elections -- and that’s preventing Texas from becoming another swing state. Those are the findings from a new research by polling firm Latino Decisions and the immigration advocacy group America’s Voice.

Researchers found that that eligible but non-voting population is nearly 3 million strong, based on state and U.S. Census Bureau estimated data. In the last presidential election, only 22 percent of all the votes cast in Texas were by Hispanics, in comparison to 8 percent at the national level.

Here are some other interesting tidbits from the study:

‘Texas Hispanics Are Hitting Well Below Their Weight’

The Hispanic turnout in the state is said to rank among the lowest in America. Some 61 percent of the eligible Hispanic electorate was a no-show during the last election. Researchers say these “unengaged” voters are a factor keeping Texas from being a “politically competitive” state, which would be grim news for Republican chances in national elections.

Texas Hispanic electorate There is a 22 point turnout difference between Hispanic Texans and their white counterparts. Photo: Latino Decisions/America's Voice

By 2040 the Face of Texas Will Change

Today 38.2 percent of Texans are Hispanics, which is about 10 million of the state’s 26 million people. What’s more, 20 percent of all Latinos in the U.S. make Texas their home. But by 2020, some 42 percent of the population will be Hispanic, and a Hispanic-majority Texas could arrive two decades later.

Texas population projection 88 percent of Texas Hispanics are of Mexican origin. Photo: Latino Decisions/America's Voice

A Third of Hispanics Vote to Advance the Group’s Cause

If Democrats and Republican want to bring out the inactive 3 million eligible voters, then they should promote policies that suit Hispanics’ interests. Researchers found that a sense of community is what brought voters out in the past. By the numbers it looks like this in Texas: 34 percent of the population said they voted to support the Latino community; 35 percent voted to support Democrats; and 20 percent cast ballots to support the Republican Party.

Texas Hispanic reason for voting National party leaders hoping to mobilize the near 3 million inactive eligible Texas Hispanics better take notice. Photo: Latino Decisions/America's Voice