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Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 199 -- Latino Vote Yet To Fully Materialize.

Latino Population Rapidly Growing, But Voters Yet To Enter Political Process-

The Latino vote is a highly coveted voting bloc, actually comprised of several regional and ethno-national voting blocs. There are Mexican-Americans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Central and South Americans, to name a few of the distinct groups.

Republicans believe their platform of family/religious values and low taxes appeals to Latinos. Democrats secure their portion of the Latino vote primarily through good old fashioned machine politics. Just one example of this is Los Angeles, where the Latino community has been almost uniformly unionized-- and votes for the Democrats similarly uniformly.

Interesting, though, has been just how untapped the Latino vote truly is. Right now, it's still mostly potential driving the "get the Hispanic vote on our side" quest of each party.

Just look at how many Latinos we have added to our population over the years, but how relatively few Latino voters we've added, accordingly:


Part of this phenomenon is that many Latinos are not citizens, but the reason Latinos are so highly sought after stems from the fact that large proportion of Latinos are under the age of 18. Get those folks on your side, and when they do begin voting, the results will be quite significant.


So, what's the best way to woo the Latino vote?

Well, there's the obvious answers. There's pandering. There's milestone appointments, such as to the Supreme Court. There's personality politics, getting Latino celebrities and role models out there supporting Republicans, running for office as Republicans, and so on.

There's also the policy answers. Frame the GOP as the party of the American Dream. Hard work. Entrepreneurial spirit. Upward mobility. Creation of wealth. Owning your own home. Material success. All with well-grounded moral values.

In 2006, the immigration issue is likely to take center stage in policy debates. Some Republicans will walk on eggshells to avoid controversy on the issue in either direction, while other firebrands will take the "we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore" route. Still others will take the side they believe to be the way of the future, that is, "pro" immigration at any cost, so as to avoid the backlash from the Latino community.

Meanwhile, those on the left will throw around disingenuous, dishonest characterizations of Republicans. Racist. Anti-immigrant. And so on.

All of this is unfortunate, because most Americans want something pragmatic accomplished on immigration. A pragmatic accomplishment on any issue with so many wrinkles and constituencies requires a serious and honest debate, which I am beginning to believe cannot happen in today's political/media climate.

It's unfortunate but true.

That isn't to say we won't see some sort of comprehensive immigration reform plan in 2006. It's just that we'll see more than a bit of demagoguery on the issue, all geared toward gleaning support from that all-important emerging Latino vote.

Pew Research Center (.pdf).


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Oil Company Profiteering.

Posted by Will Franklin · 28 October 2005 10:50 AM