Hispanic and Latino American politics in the United States
||This article needs to be updated. (June 2016)|
- 1 Hispanic/Latino Participation and Key Issues
- 2 Democrats and Hispanic/Latino Voters
- 3 Republicans and Hispanic/Latino Voters
- 4 Notable Hispanic/Latino Politicians
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Hispanic/Latino Participation and Key Issues
According to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates as of July 1, 2013, there are roughly 54 million Hispanics living in the United States, representing approximately 17% of the U.S. total population, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic minority. Mexican Americans alone are 64% of Hispanics, 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 poll, 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
Support for the Democratic Party among Hispanics has remained strong because of the Democratic Party's platform of less immigration restrictions, civil rights for Hispanics, and support for social programs that tend to benefit low-income Hispanic families. Although some Latino leaders have criticized the party for not doing enough to help Latino 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.
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 and racism. 81% of Latinos believe that unauthorized immigrants should not be deported. Some Republicans encourage reforming the immigration system, while other Republicans advocate deporting them all. Republicans also support efforts to enforce the law (deporting illegal aliens), while most Republicans are open to welcoming back immigrants who enter America through legal avenues.
Notable Hispanic/Latino Politicians
- Ted Cruz (Republican)
- Marco Rubio (Republican)
- Bob Menendez (Democrat)
- Catherine Cortez Masto (Democrat)
- 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.
- 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