By Alex Gonzalez
According to the latest polls, Latinos are not very enthusiastic about voting. As a result, the news narrative is that Latinos are not enthusiastic about voting. Many columnists and pundits are pushing this idea, making assumption that the Latino vote is not important enough since their enthusiasm is so low. But if Republicans buy into this narrative, as some have, they will make the same error that they did in 2010 by assuming that Latinos will not vote. Republicans will not only will lose the Presidency, they will lose many Senate and Congressional seats.
By now is clear the Latinos will not vote in droves for Mitt Romney, and in reality this may be his own fault, as Linda Chavez argued in a Op-ed. Apart from the Republican Convection, “Romney is doing very little to woo the Latino voter in swing states like Colorado, Nevada—swing states. And all comes from the idea that currently Latino voters’ enthusiasm is very “low.”
Understandably, if Romney is not improving it number with Latinos, his advisers play down the Latino vote by suggesting that the enthusiasm is so low that it will not have a major impact in the election. But this is a fallacy that only makes it harder for Republicans in swing states where GOP party can have successful outreach efforts. Karl Rove is the master when it comes to number, but he is falling into the same trap of dismissing the Latino vote as “low” just because it does not favor Romney.
In Op-Ed for the WSJ Rove wrote:
The good news for Mr. Obama is that he has maintained his 2008 margin among Hispanics. The bad news is that less than half (42%) of Hispanic respondents said they were “very interested” in November’s election, according to an Aug. 20 NBC/WSJ/Telemundo poll.
This has been the narrative for the past months each time Republicans are asked why Romney has not improved his numbers among Latinos. The pundits and adviser’s game is simple: since we can’t improve with Latinos, let’s just say their numbers will not matter since some of the polls show the enthusiasm among Latino voters is” low.” However, this game was also played in September of 2010 and had lethal consequences for Republican in California, Nevada, and Colorado.
For instance, in September of 2010, the Pew Hispanic published a report showing that enthusiasm among Latino voters was very low. As soon as this report was published, all major national publication like the NY times and LA Times concluded that
“Latino voters appear less motivated than other voters. About one-third of Latino voters say they have given this election “a lot of thought,” while half of U.S. registered voters say they have. In a further challenge to Democrats, the nationwide Pew poll found that Republican Latino registered voters may be more likely to vote than Democrats. About 44 percent of Latino Republicans say they have given the election quite a lot of thought compared with 28 percent of Latino Democrats, the Pew report said.
The conclusion in 2010 was that, though 65% Latinos favored Democrats, only 32% of Latino would vote during the Midterm election (see pic.)
However, in 2010, in California, Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona Latino Turnout was strong and in some cases surpassed the “white” voter turnout. More importantly, in Colorado, Nevada, and California, it was the strong Latino turnout that kept Tom Tancredo, Sharon Angle, and Meg Whitman from winning, all due immigration.
In California, for example, polls suggested that the Latino vote would low. But in 2010, the total share of the Latino vote in the state was 22%, even though the share of registered voter that were Latinos was 21%. Therefore, considering the fact, in California in 2010, Latinos were 21% of the total state pool of registered voters. In the primaries in 2010 Latinos had 22% of the total state vote. And this high turnout was also visible in Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Additionally, in 2010 Nevada only had 15% of the total registered pool of voters who were Latino. However, 16% of total turnout in Nevada was Latino, not mentioning that they voted against Sharon Angle. Similarly, in New Mexico, Latinos represented 44% of the total stare registered voters. But the Latino vote in New Mexico was about 40%, and 38% of Latinos voted for Governoe Susana Martinez. And in Colorado, though Latinos were only 13% of the state registered voters in 2010, 79% of Latinos voted against Tom Tancredo, and thus, gave a 51-49 victory to a Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper and Senator Michael Bennet.
Consequently, the October 5th 2010 poll by the Pew Hispanic about low enthusiasms among Latinos voters tricked Republicans and made them disregard the Latino vote, and thus killed the changes of Republicans taking the senate since all the senatorial candidates—Fiorina (CA), Angle(NV), and CO– in all these states had similar views on SB1070, views perceive as anti-Latino. More importantly for Republicans is the fact that these states are swing states with a surging bloc of Latino voters. Therefore, if Republicans go with this false premise of “low enthusiasm” and start to disregard the Latino vote again, they will tarnish the efforts of states to woo Latino voters for state races. Moreover, pushing the idea that Latinos will not come out to vote could be detrimental for the GOP because it is has emboldens Democrats to enlarge their outreach program in states where the Latino population is growing.
Additionally, the idea that Latinos will vote in lower numbers is empirically false. If we look at NALEO, the voting pattern for Latinos is consistent. Pics NALEO and Mine. Consequently, any researcher can easily conclude that it empirically to prove that Latinos will come out in lowers number in 2012 than in 2008. We can surmise, and Rove and Republican strategists should not be fooled, again, with a “low” Latino turnout argument. thus the Graph below show exactly what Naleo anticipate how many Latinos will vote in 2012.
The New 8-years War on Texas
Texas, has one of the largest shares of eligible Latino Voters, but it also has one of the lowest turnouts in the nation. But Democrats are now waging a war to turn Texas blue because, they know that if they can get California’s 55 Electoral Votes, New York’s 29 votes, and Texas’ 38 votes, it would be mathematically impossible for Republicans to win the White House for a very long time. And Texas has had a “white” stagnant registration level for the past 12 years, which is one of the main reasons Redistricting is important for Republicans (keep the districts Republican by putting more registered “Anglo” and Latinos, with low turnout, in the same district)
For example, I made this chart after looking at Looking at the Texas Secretary of State official Registration over the last 15 years. Here we can see that there are no more “Anglo” voters left. And Democrats know this so they have waged a 10-year war against Republicans by asking for money for Texas.
As a result, the fact is the there is no more “Anglo” growth for the GOP. From 2000 to 2012, the number of 13,000,000 votes has remained the same while the number of unregistered Voting age populating has grown from 14. 4 million to 18.2 million by 2012.
Moreover, since 2000, according to US Census, 84% of the growth of Population of Texas is attributed to “minority” –-mainly Latinos. Thus, Democrats believe that with those unregistered 4 million voters in “8-years” they can turn the state blue and locked Texas with California, and New York for Electoral votes. In an interview with the National Journal, Mayor Julian Castro made it cleared: he believes the growing the Latino population and the influx of more moderate voters from other states will turn Texas from a deep red state to a purple one by 2020.
And this was the real message from Texas Democrats in the Convention. Thus, if you give money to Texas, in next 10 years we will give you Texas because there are no more Republican voters and so we must include Latinos into the party. It is not only good strategy, it is survival for the GOP. Hence, since 45% of Texas vote Democrats, democrats only need about million of new voters to change the state.
And Texas demographers know this for a fact. For example, Cal Jilson, one of the premier Political Scientist in Texas argued that:
Republicans run the Lone Star State, holding all 29 statewide elective offices and controlling legislative majorities. Their dominance may be threatened by a surge of Latinos, who made up 32 percent of the population in 2000, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Hispanics are forecast to become Texas’s ethnic majority by 2030, state figures show, and Jillson said they vote for Democrats by a 2-to-1 margin.
And even if Republicans try to stretch their domain by creating new districts with and hold powers with same amount of “Anglo” voters by moving the around, eventually the growth of the population will catch up to the since their base of “Anglo” voter is aging and it has remain stagnant for 10 years.
Democrats in Texas will not have immediate gains; Romney will get 38 Electoral votes since the anti-Obama sentiment is very strong. Thus, showcasing Julian Castro during the Democratic Convection was more of an invitation for Democrat funding for an open 8-years war again Republicans to woo Latinos.
Even Carl Rove wants to play down the Latino vote; however, Latinos will come out to vote. So Republicans need to be careful on the type of tone and narrative they want people to remember in post-elections. The new war wage on Republicans in Texas needs to be taken seriously since it will only take 1 million of democratic voters to lock-in Texas, with California, and New York, and thereby, making unfeasible for the Republicans to win the White House again for a very long time.