Friday, November 07, 2008

Latinos jumped to Obama three times as fast as other voters.

A fresh look at the numbers hit the nail on the head as to where Obama picked up the most Bush support.

It wasn't from evangelicals, or working class whites, groups that Obama made a point of reaching out to. It wasn't from young voters or African-Americans either-- those groups both went strongly for John Kerry four years ago (in the case of African-Americans, especially, who went 90% for John Kerry, while they upped that into the mid-ninety percent range for Obama, there is only so much more you can squeeze out when you start at 90%.)

No, the really big shift came among Latino voters. While Obama got 5% overall more of the electorate than Kerry, among Hispanics he almost tripled that, to 14% more.

Latino voters shifted in huge numbers away from the Republicans to vote for Senator Barack Obama in the presidential election...

In a year when turnout among many groups surged nationwide, the number of Latinos who went to the polls increased by nearly 25 percent over 2004, with sharp rises among naturalized immigrants and young, first-time voters, according to a study by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Hispanic support for the Democratic nominee increased by 14 points over all compared with 2004, the biggest shift toward the Democrats by any voter group.

Nationwide, Hispanics voted 67 percent for Mr. Obama and 31 percent for Senator John McCain, according to Edison/Mitofsky exit polls. In 2004, Senator John Kerry won 53 percent, while 44 percent of Hispanics voted for President Bush, a record for Latino support for a Republican presidential nominee.

Even McCain's loss of 14% represents a sharp improvement from the 2006 midterm elections in which the level of Hispanic support for the GOP literally was cut in half, from the 44% for President Bush down to 20%. McCain still has some support from the group.

The reason why is not hard to figure out. Hispanics up until 2004 had been trending Republican. Many if not a clear majority of them are Christians, hard workers, appreciate America and serve in the military at a higher rate than the national average. Family is important to Latino voters so much of what the GOP used to say went over well with them.

Starting after the 2004 election though the GOP really began ginning up their attacks on immigration. I personally believe that this issue alone is the entire reason for the rush away from the GOP by Hispanic voters, but if not then there are other issues that the GOP will have to figure out and address.

There are other ways for Republicans to get their base out. The immigrant-bashing has served them poorly (and it certainly bit the past two elections.) Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic minority in the country (not just because of immigration either; it's a fact that Hispanic women have a higher fertility rate than the rest of the population.) So driving them straight into the hands of the Democratic party (while a gift to us) shows exactly how the GOP has become a ship of fools.

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