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Minority Voting Power Takes Center Stage

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Allen G. Breed, AP, January 12, 2008

With nomination contests in lily-white Iowa and New Hampshire settled, minority voting power now moves into the spotlight.

Historical realities suggest that blacks and Hispanics won’t play much of a role in determining the Republican Party presidential nominee. But this year’s Democratic primary and caucus schedule was designed specifically to give increased influence to minorities, particularly Latinos.

Voters in both groups are energized: Blacks by the early successes of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Latinos by the intense, sometimes xenophobic debate over immigration. But it’s far from clear how those influences will play off each other.

Nevada’s caucuses on Jan. 19 will give an early showcase of Hispanic voting. However, observers say the true impact of Latino influence might not be felt until the general election, notably in Western states like Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada — places where George Bush’s margin of victory in 2004 was razor-thin.

When South Carolina Democrats hold their primary on Jan. 26 — the state GOP contest is Jan. 19 — the choices of substantial numbers of black voters will be tallied for the first time in this election.

Energizing black voters

Obama’s stunning victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Iowa caucuses and strong second in New Hampshire’s primary showed he could win white votes. But some say the South Carolina contest offers a new test of his viability: Can he energize black voters in places where their numbers could help him win in November?


In 1956, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower was able to garner 39 percent of the black vote, notes Donald Bositis, a senior research associate for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a black think tank in Washington, D.C.


Latinos and Democrats

The historical association between the Democrats and the working class, coupled with the election of John F. Kennedy as the first Roman Catholic president, accounts for the Latino affiliation with that party — Florida Cubans being the great exception. Democratic candidate Bill Richardson, who cited JFK as one of his inspirations, showcased his Hispanic roots before he pulled out of the race Thursday.


According to the Pew Research Center, Hispanics are twice as likely to identify themselves as Democrat than Republican. For blacks, it’s 10 1/2 times.

“There is in the United States a racial tone to the political parties,” said Bernard N. Grofman, director of the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine. It’s something “that nobody wants to talk about very much, because in some ways it’s really very, very embarrassing.”

‘Browning of America’ has blue hue

Both minority groups lag behind whites in voter registration. The latest census figures indicate that while 71 percent of voting-eligible whites are registered, the rate drops to 61 percent among blacks and 54 percent for Latinos.

The conventional wisdom has been that as the nation’s population moves toward a minority majority, its political complexion will become more Democratic. Or, as Grofman puts it, the “browning of America will result in the bluing.”

But in studying the South, Grofman — author of the voting-rights history “Quiet Revolution in the South” — found a correlation between the percentage of a state’s black voting population and increases in white support for Republican candidates.

Grofman notes there have been small but measurable Latino shifts toward the GOP as Hispanic homeownership rates, conversions to evangelical Protestantism and generational distance from immigration increase. And since many Latinos identify racially as white, he says we may see a “mimicking” of the electoral “white flight” from the Democratic Party he identified in the South.

A Hispanic-black divide is already showing in the nomination battle.

A California poll by the Field Research Corp. found Clinton’s lead over Obama had dropped from 25 percentage points in October to just 14 points late last month. However, the same survey gave Clinton a 20-point lead among Latinos, who comprise 14 percent of voters there.


Voter registration surges among Latinos


The first two Fridays of each month, the Democratic party sets up voter-registration tables outside the federal court chamber in Las Vegas where new citizens are sworn in.


Latino registration rates in the state have risen from just 4 percent in 1996 to more than 10 percent. Given the “very anti-immigrant” stances taken by the state GOP, which adopted an English-only platform that would deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegals, Ramirez is confident that most of those political newcomers will be voting Democratic.


Vanderbilt University Law School professor Carol M. Swain, author of “Black Faces, Black Interests,” is one African-American who won’t be voting for Obama — nor, likely, for any Democrat. She says none of the party’s candidates has articulated a position “that really takes into consideration the harm that’s being done to working-class Americans” by competition from illegal immigrants.


But experts say many black voters may take the opposite tack when they cast ballots in South Carolina, where blacks make up about half of the Democratic electorate.

Not losing this time

Donald Aiesi, a political science professor at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., thinks turnout in the party primary there will be 4-to-1 black.

And he predicts that “the race pull” will be strong — even though, he adds, “I don’t think anybody’s going to talk to a pollster or anybody else and say, ‘Well, with me it’s ultimately the idea that my son or daughter could be elected.’”

Not all black voters agree. John H. Corbitt, Garrett’s pastor at the Springfield Baptist Church, doesn’t see it that way. Iowa notwithstanding, he’s leaning toward Clinton — partly because former President Bill Clinton was so good to blacks, but mostly because he thinks the New York senator can win in November. “Many of us are tired of being on the losing side.”


Original article

(Posted on January 15, 2008)

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“Latinos by the intense, sometimes xenophobic debate over immigration.”

Not wanting some foreigner voting is “xenophobic?”

Posted by at 5:44 PM on January 15

Trouble with Nevada is that they still use caucuses. I don’t think too many Hispanics will turn out, unless certain labor unions make them.

Posted by St. Louis CofCC Blogmeister at 5:54 PM on January 15

Didnt Clinton cut welfare to blacks way way back? He was a moderate democrat. What exactly did he do to ‘help’ blacks if not offer more handouts?

Posted by at 6:19 PM on January 15

.”“”..Latinos by the intense, sometimes xenophobic debate over immigration”.

Ohhhh Reallyyy! Pray tell - I must have missed that one. Unless he’s talking about the Internet.

Proud to be a “zenophobic”,

Posted by Voir Dire at 6:25 PM on January 15

Much is said about Neo Conservativism, which is fine and in good order. However, almost nothing is ever said or examined about Neo Liberalism. What we read about in this article is a prime example of this emerging phenomenon.
Neo Liberalism is also referred to as New Direction Democrat, and a few other monikers, but they all total to the same thing. It is really nothing other than recycled machine politics circa 1920, adapted to conditions and made Federal. It is supercharged with media savvy and cooperation and takes all of its sounding points from Neo Conservatism. It is therefore to be feared and fought against.
Neo Liberalism is busy expelling all of the wooly headed and wool blazered “old” liberals, and is busy feathering its nest with Minorities. Only. Sympathies are not enough for them. If you dont have a God Given Grievance* you have no place with them. As such, the day will come when even the likes of Phil Donohue will see his ouster (just like Pat Buchanan was from the Republican Party by Neo Conservatives)
The fact is that the Democrat Parteid has created two front runners both of whom are Neo Liberals and no others stand a chance.
Evicted Old Liberals will be a rich field for harvest, but the wholesale eviction hasnt started yet. Stay tuned.

*God Given Grievance is the sole legitimizing factor and organizing principle of Neo Libs and their type. It amounts to a complaint against their Creator, anger of which they take out on their fellow man in the form of “politics”. No White man can have a GGG. To have it, you must be A)Female or B)Black or C)Gay or…etc etc.

Posted by Mr. Smith at 10:00 PM on January 15

Every single president since Truman helped Blacks, and other trash that came to our shores, both legally and illegally. They all handed out Welfare, and other benefits, in order to help “the poor folks” so to speak, instead of giving them an incentive to WORK. They all made them lazier than they were. We need to cut all these social benefit perks - Welfare, etc. - and make these people work, .AND PAY BACK TO SOCIETY. Sadly, I don’t see that happening in my lifetime! Those same people won’t turn out to vote either; they are too lazy…

Posted by lydia at 10:25 PM on January 15

“Latinos by the intense, sometimes xenophobic debate over immigration.”

I tend to get a bit “xenophobic” when thousands and thousands of maniacs gather and scream about exterminating whites and slicing off a chunk of my country for themselves.

Posted by at 12:26 AM on January 16

“Obama’s stunning victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Iowa caucuses and strong second in New Hampshire’s primary showed he could win white votes.”

Correction! It shows Mr. Obama could win white votes IN THE NORTHEAST and the MIDWEST. Big surprise. The other two front runners in the Democratic Party are white Southerners…. Clinton from Arkansas and Edwards from South Carolina.

“blacks make up about half of the Democratic electorate.”

Blacks are a declining percentage of the South Carolina population from 2000 to 2005, according to the US Census, dropping from slightly over 30% to slightly less than 30%. While Blacks were the majority of persons in South Carolina for much of its history, the white majority has been growing for decades.

It makes virtually no difference whatsoever what the Democratic Party decides in its primary, since the white voters in South Carolina will not vote for ANY Democratic nominee.

As for the Hispanic vote in South Carolina, very few are eligible to vote, since they are illegal aliens mostly. Less than three percent of the population are Hispanic citizens. They will not be a factor in the election, nor will the vote be close. (But I will be glad when the voters in South Carolina shed themselves of the traitor Lindsey Graham.)

Posted by Memphomaniac at 12:00 PM on January 16

There’s that magic word again: *Phobia*.

It’s quite ridiculous when the LibMed throws out *Phobia* as if it’s not the behaviour of blacks/hispanics that whites find disturbing, but that we “subconciously fear them”. Soon enough, the usual sorts will enter screeching about “white genetic inferiority”.

But if it takes being labelled as a “xenophobe” to get them out…

Posted by Obscuratus at 12:36 PM on January 16

I am a xenophobe, a murderphobe, a rapeophobe, a gangsterphobe, a votefraudphobe, etc. Yes we can, kick them out!

Posted by Lars at 9:03 PM on January 16

I am a xenophobe, a murderphobe, a rapeophobe, a gangsterphobe, a votefraudphobe, etc. Yes we can, kick them out!

Kick who out? The anti-illegal immigration movement will only hurt itself if it does not repudiate the racist ethnic “nationalists” from its ranks.

Posted by AtheistNonracistWhiteAmerican at 4:59 PM on January 27

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