Hispanic and Latino American politics
Hispanic/Latino Participation and Key Issues
Most Cuban-Americans and Venezuelan-Americans tend to support the Republican Party, while Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadoran-Americans, and Dominican-Americans tend to support the Democratic Party. As the latter groups are far more numerous (Mexican Americans alone are 64% of Hispanics), and despite federal and state welfare spending in the U.S. now topping $1.03 trillion a year as per an October 16, 2012 nonpartisan Congressional Research Service report available at: http://budget.senate.gov/republican/public/index.cfm/files/serve/?File_id=0f87b42d-f182-4b3d-8ae2-fa8ac8a8edad, the Democratic Party is considered to be in a far stronger position among Hispanics overall. The U.S. Census indicates that the Hispanic population of the United States is the fastest growing minority group in the country.
More than 9% of eligible voters nationwide are Latino. The majority support for Democratic candidates continues a pattern among Hispanic voters. In a December 2011, 67% of Hispanics said they were Democrats, and 20% said they were Republicans.
In the 2010 midterm elections, 60% of Hispanics voted Democratic, while 38% voted Republican. In 2008, 67% of Hispanics voted for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, while 31% of Hispanics voted for Republican presidential candidate John McCain. In 2006, 69% of Latino voters supported Democratic candidates in congressional races, while 30% supported Republican candidates.
According to an October 2010 report by the Pew Hispanic Center, Hispanics rank education, jobs, and health care as their top three issues of concern. Immigration ranks as the fourth most important issue for all Latinos.
A 2012 study by the Center for Immigration Studies projected that in November 2012 Hispanics would comprise 17.2 percent of the total U.S. population, 15 percent of adults, 11.2 percent of adult citizens, and 8.9 percent of actual voters. By comparison, the report found that in 2012, non-Hispanic whites are expected to be 73.4 percent of the national vote and non-Hispanic blacks are expected to be 12.2 percent. The report noted that by weight "eight percentage points of the Hispanic vote nationally equals slightly less than one percentage point of the non-Hispanic white vote." The study also compared the 8.9 percent Hispanic share of voters to veterans (12 percent of the electorate), those with family incomes above $100,000 (18 percent), seniors 65 and older (19 percent), married persons (60 percent), and those who live in owner-occupied housing (80 percent).
In terms of voter turnout, the Center for Immigration Studies projected that 52.7 percent (± 0.6) of eligible Hispanics will vote in the 2012 election, an increase from 49.9 percent in 2008 and a continuation of the past decade's long upward trend. The projected Hispanic voter participation rate of 52.7 percent compares to 66.1 percent for non-Hispanic whites and 65.2 percent for non-Hispanic blacks in 2008.
Democrats and Hispanic/Latino Voters
Hispanic/Latino Criticism of the Democratic Party
While support for the Democratic Party among Hispanics has remained strong, some Hispanic leaders have criticized the party for not doing enough to help Hispanic candidates move from city council, legislative and congressional seats to the party's highest elected offices. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a candidate in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, has noted that victories by Hispanic Republican candidates in several key races during the 2010 election cycle, including Marco Rubio in Florida's U.S. Senate race and the elections of Brian Sandoval as Nevada's first Hispanic governor and Susana Martinez as the country's first Latina governor, have posed a significant challenge to the Democratic Party in retaining support among Hispanic and Latino voters. "Democrats have to recruit more Hispanic candidates and they have to start siding with Hispanics on redistricting and other issues," Richardson said, "because many Hispanics perceive the party doesn't care enough about electing more Hispanic officials."
Other Hispanic Democrats, including former DNC vice-chairwoman Linda Chavez-Thompson, have accused the party of taking Hispanic support for granted, and not doing enough to increase turnout among Latinos: "I think for the longest time [the Democratic Party], including myself, automatically thought that if you were a Latino you voted Democrat," she said. "That’s not true anymore. We need to ramp up our Latino outreach. We can’t sit back and let the Republicans take votes because we don’t have a message for Latino voters." Chavez-Thompson, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 2010, further stated that more money and effort needs to be spent by the Democratic Party and its supporters on targeted messaging, recruitment of Latino candidates, and voter outreach.
Republicans and Hispanic/Latino Voters
Republican Outreach to Hispanic and Latino Voters
Republicans have long maintained their party is a natural fit for Hispanics, particularly recent immigrants, because of the party's social conservatism, anti-abortion stance and positions for private school vouchers and other school choice proposals as well as lower taxes. Republicans are trying to chip away at Hispanics’ overall 2-1 preference for Democrats.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich have taken proactive measures. Jeb Bush chairs the Hispanic Leadership Network, an ongoing effort by the American Action Network and the American Action Forum to provide a platform for the Hispanic community to connect with center-right policies and leaders. Newt Gingrich started The Americano, a bilingual news and commentary web site that promotes conservative ideals within the Hispanic community.
Hispanic/Latino Criticism of the Republican Party
The main divider between Hispanics and Republicans is the differing views and perceived harsh rhetoric on illegal immigration. 81% of Latinos believe that unauthorized immigrants should not be deported. Republicans encourage reforming the immigration system. They also support efforts to enforce the law (deporting illegal aliens) while welcoming immigrants who enter America through legal avenues.
Notable Hispanic/Latino Politicians
- Bob Marley (U.S. Representative from California)
- Xavier Becerra (U.S. Representative from California, former chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Albert Bustamante (former U.S. Representative from Texas, former chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Cruz Bustamante (former Lieutenant Governor of California and Speaker of the California State Assembly)
- Linda Chavez-Thompson (former vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, 2010 Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Texas)
- Gery Chico (chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education)
- Henry Cisneros (former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and mayor of San Antonio, TX; second Latino mayor of a U.S. city)
- Kika de la Garza (former U.S. Representative from Texas, former chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Jaime Fuster (1941-2007) (Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States, Associate Justice to the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico to the U.S. Congress, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Robert García (former U.S. Representative from New York, former chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Edward D. Garza (former mayor of San Antonio, TX)
- Ron Gonzales (former mayor of San Jose, CA)
- Charlie Gonzalez (U.S. Representative from Texas, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Raúl Grijalva (U.S. Representative from Arizona)
- Luis Gutiérrez (U.S. Representative from Illinois)
- Rubén Hinojosa (U.S. Representative from Texas)
- Matthew G. Martínez (former U.S. Representative from California, former chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; switched party affiliation to Republican after being defeated in 2000 primary)
- Bob Menendez (U.S. Senator and former U.S. Representative from New Jersey, former chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and House Democratic Caucus)
- Gloria Molina (chairwoman of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority)
- Grace Napolitano (U.S. Representative from California, former chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Solomon P. Ortiz (former U.S. Representative from Texas, former chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Ed Pastor (U.S. Representative from Arizona, former chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Silvestre Reyes (U.S. Representative from Texas, former chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Bill Richardson (former Governor of New Mexico, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and U.S. Secretary of Energy, former U.S. Representative and chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Ciro Rodriguez (former U.S. Representative from Texas, former chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Edward R. Roybal (1916-2005) (U.S. Representative from California, founder and first chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, co-founder of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials)
- Lucille Roybal-Allard (U.S. Representative from California, former chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Ken Salazar (U.S. Secretary of the Interior, former U.S. Senator from Colorado, former Attorney General of Colorado)
- Linda Sánchez (U.S. Representative from California)
- Loretta Sánchez (U.S. Representative from California)
- José Enrique Serrano (U.S. Representative from New York, former chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Hilda Solis (U.S. Secretary of Labor, former U.S. Representative from California)
- Esteban Edward Torres (former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, former U.S. Representative from California, former chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus)
- Nydia Velázquez (U.S. Representative from New York, former chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, first Puerto Rican woman to be elected to Congress)
- Antonio Villaraigosa (Mayor of Los Angeles, former Speaker of the California State Assembly)
- Henry Bonilla (former U.S. Congressman from Texas)
- Gustavo Barreiro (Florida State Representative)
- Anna Escobedo Cabral (former U.S. Treasurer)
- Francisco Canseco (U.S. Congressman from Texas)
- Ted Cruz (former Texas Solicitor General and U.S Senator from Texas)
- Federico Degetau (first Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico in the U.S. Congress)
- Lincoln Diaz-Balart (former U.S. Congressman from Florida)
- Mario Diaz-Balart (U.S. Congressman from Florida)
- Alex Diaz de la Portilla (Florida State Senator)
- Luis A. Ferré (former Governor of Puerto Rico)
- Anitere Flores (Florida State Representative)
- Bill Flores (U.S. Congressman from Texas)
- Luis Fortuño (Governor of Puerto Rico)
- Jeff Frederick (first Hispanic elected to Virginia government, former Chairman of Republican Party of Virginia)
- Bonnie Garcia (former California State Assemblywoman)
- Rene Garcia (former Florida State Representative)
- Rudy Garcia (Florida State Senator)
- John Garza (Texas House of Representatives, District 117-San Antonio)
- Alberto Gonzales (80th United States Attorney General)
- Jenniffer González (Speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives)
- Carlos Gutierrez (former Secretary of Commerce)
- Jaime Herrera (U.S. Congresswoman from Washington State)
- Raúl Labrador (U.S. Congressman from Idaho)
- Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo (first Hispanic U.S. Senator)
- Marcelo Llorente (Florida State Representative)
- Carlos Lopez-Cantera (Florida State Representative)
- Pete Lopez (New York State Assemblyman)
- Manuel Lujan, Jr. (former U.S. Congressman and Secretary of the Interior)
- Abel Maldonado (former California state senator and Lieutenant Governor of California)
- Nicole Malliotakis (New York State Assemblywoman)
- Rosario Marin (former Treasurer of the United States)
- Bob Martinez (former Florida Governor)
- Mel Martinez (former U.S. Senator and former HUD Secretary)
- Susana Martinez (Governor of New Mexico and former District Attorney for New Mexico's 3rd Judicial district)
- Jason Mattera (Human Events online editor, writer, and political commentator)
- Steve Montenegro (Member of the Arizona House of Representatives since January 2003.)
- Alex X. Mooney (Maryland state senator and Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party)
- Joe Negron (former Florida State Representative)
- Roger Noriega (former Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Representative to the OAS)
- Bob Pacheco (former California State Assemblyman)
- Rod Pacheco (former California State Assemblyman)
- Romualdo Pacheco (first Hispanic U.S. Congressman and California Governor)
- David Rivera (U.S. Congressman from Florida and former Florida state Representative)
- Lionel Rivera (Mayor of Colorado Springs, Colorado)
- Luis Rivera Businessman, Government, Chairman Political Committees, Radio Shows, TV Show, Horse Racing
- Thomas Rivera Schatz (President of the Puerto Rico Senate)
- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (U.S. Congresswoman from Florida, first Latina in Congress)
- Marco Rubio (U.S. Senator from Florida and former Speaker of the Florida State House of Representatives)
- John Sanchez (Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico and former state representative and gubernatorial nominee in New Mexico)
- Brian Sandoval (Governor of Nevada)
- Munoz Jr, Carlos (2 November 2000). "The Latino challenge". BBC Website. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "Detailed Hispanic Origin: 2006" (PDF). Pew Hispanic Center. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "US Census Press Releases". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- Lopez, Mark Hugo; Gonzalez-Barrera, Ana; Motel, Seth (December 28, 2011). "As Deportations Rise to Record Levels, Most Latinos Oppose Obama's Policy". Pew Hispanic Center. Pew Research Center.
- Lopez, Mark Hugo (November 3, 2010). "The Latino Vote in the 2010 Elections". Pew Hispanic Center. Pew Research Center.
- Lopez, Mark Hung (November 5, 2008). "The Hispanic Vote in the 2008 Election". Pew Hispanic Center. Pew Research Center.
- Statistics were obtained from CNN’s Election 2010 website and are based on the Edison Research’s national and state exit poll surveys of voters as reported on December 30, 2010.
- Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler, "Projecting the 2012 Hispanic Vote," Center for Immigration Studies, August 2012. Available at: http://cis.org/projecting-2012-hispanic-vote-nationally-battleground-states
- Barabak, Mark (17 June 2011). "Democrats Losing Favor with Hispanics". Hispanic News. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
- Del Bosque, Melissa (26 April 2011). "The Race for the Hispanic Vote". Texas Observer. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
- Wides-Munoz, Laura. "Jeb Bush Guides Republican Outreach to Latinos" CNSNews.com. Retrieved 2011-03-13
- , AAN and AAF Launch Hispanic Leadership Network
- , About The Americano
- , Republican Party Platform 2008
- , Pew Hispanic Center.
- Mazzei, Patricia. "Lincoln Diaz-Balart: GOP can't win if perceived as anti-immigrant" Miami Herald. Retrieved 2011-03-19
- Politicos Latinos Website listing the USA's major Latino/Hispanic politicians