Can Obama recapture the Hispanic vote?
Shifting demographics, particularly the growth of the minority vote, clearly helped Barack Obama win in 2008. And those shifts continue, which will also help Obama in 2012. Minorities should be 28 percent of the vote, a two-point increase among a constituency that voted 80 percent for Obama.
But will Obama get 80 percent of the minority vote again? The big wild card here is the Hispanic vote. These voters lack the special tie to Obama that black voters have, they have historically been more variable in their support for Democratic candidates, and there is significant discontent about Obama’s failure to deliver on immigration reform and the high level of deportations that have taken place on his watch.
However, recent data suggest that, despite all these factors, Hispanic support for Obama in 2012 may well replicate or even exceed the wide margin he received from these voters in 2008 (67-31). Evidently, while Hispanics may not be completely delighted with Obama’s performance, they find him strongly preferable to the G.O.P. alternatives. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the current anti-immigrant tilt of the Republican Party, especially as displayed in the primaries, has decisively turned off Hispanic voters and thrown them into the arms of the Democrats.
Read the full story at the New York Times
Ruy Teixeira, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, is a co-author of “The Emerging Democratic Majority” and the editor of “America’s New Swing Region: Changing Politics and Demographics in the Mountain West.”