Views of conservative Republicans are often at odds with those of Hispanic voters, a small but critical bloc because of the latter's large populations in swing states. Hispanics make up only 9% of the eligible electorate nationwide, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, part of the Pew Research Center. But they account for 37% of the electorate in New Mexico, 14% in Florida and 12% each in Colorado and Nevada.Okay, but they do not respectively account for the actual percentage of voters in the country or in those states. In the last three election cycles, Hispanics have topped out at 6% of the total electorate.
While around two-thirds of Hispanics vote Democratic, Hispanics struggled to post those numbers in the Democratic primaries (where whites are underrepresented relative to their heft in the general election). Hispanic voters as a percentage of the total vote in the '08 Democratic contests:
New Mexico -- 35% (they account for 37% of the "eligible electorate")
Florida -- 12% (14% of eligible)
Nevada -- 15% (12% of eligible)
(No exit polling was conducted for Colorado)
Hispanic voters as a percentage of the total on the Republican side for the two states where exit polling took place:
Florida -- 12% (14% of eligible)
Nevada -- 8% (12% of eligible)
With the relatively affluent Cuban population, Florida's Hispanics are skewed to the right. The Democrats' proportional Hispanic advantage in Nevada, double the Republican proportion, is more nationally representative. Of the 25 states where exit polling was conducted for both parties' contests, on average Hispanics comprised 7.7% of the Democratic vote and 3.7% of the Republican vote. That's basically a 2-to-1 Democratic advantage (67.5% to 32.5%)--virtually identical to a Gallup poll conducted from March through June showing Obama ahead of McCain 67%-33% among Hispanic voters with a stated Presidential preference (88% of those polled).
Multiplying the Hispanic proportion on the Democratic side by .75 provides a reasonable estimate of proportional Hispanic turnout by state in the upcoming general election. Thus that reported 37% for New Mexico is probably about 10 points higher than the actual Hispanic turnout will end up being.
When thinking about this, keep in mind that when proportions are small they tend to be, if anything, artifically inflated in exit polls (the '04 Presidential election exit polls being a prime example, where Hispanics were initially reported to represent 8% of the electorate but turned out, upon more meticulous inspection by the Pew Hispanic Center, to comprise only 6% of the total). The 'repudiation' above probably actually overstates the Hispanic proportions a bit.
And the assertion that Hispanics are heavily concentrated in the swing states relative to their distribution throughout the rest of the country is simply not true. More than half of the country's Hispanics live in California or Texas, two of the most electorally reliable states. Of the ten most competitive states in the 2004 election, only two are proportionally more Hispanic than the nation at large, New Mexico (third closest) and Nevada (seventh closest). The other eight (in order of competitiveness)--Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon, have (far) smaller Hispanic proportions of their total populations than the country does as a whole.
Finally, allow me to leave my restrictionist readers with this comforting excerpt from the same article:
Sen. McCain and his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, share more similar views on immigration than perhaps on any other policy issue.Vote for Chuck Baldwin or Bob Barr.