I wonder also about Hispanics. Do they parrot whites at the state level, albeit shifted 20 or so points to the left, or is it just in aggregate that Hispanics tend to differ from whites by a fairly consistent amount? That is, are Texas Hispanics considerably less leftist than California's are, or do Hispanics, like blacks, vote predictably irrespective of geography?
The following table shows the percentages of whites and Hispanics who voted for Obama in 2008. The third column displays his advantage among Hispanics relative to whites. Nationally, Obama did 24 points better among Hispanics than he did among whites:
Hard to say much definitively one way or the other. To answer one of the questions posed above, California's Hispanics are more inclined toward Democrats than Texas' are (74% to 63%). This is similar to the 2004 gap between the two states (63% to 50%, respectively). Yet Hispanics in Texas do not shift as far to the right as would be expected if they stayed parallel with whites. Even in a solidly white Republican state like Texas, Hispanics are left of center. In no state during the '08 election did a majority of Hispanics back McCain, the embodiment of open borders Republicanism (if Hispanics are natural GOPers save for immigration, of course, they should've flocked to McCain in droves).
But there are conservative white states like Indiana and Nevada where Hispanics vote more heavily Democratic than they do nationally. This isn't simply a case of the mortgage meltdown being especially severe in Nevada, either--the state's Hispanics voted more strongly for Kerry in '04 than Hispanics did nationally (they did so in Indiana as well). Also, Hispanics in Arizona--another "sand state" that suffered severely from the drop in residential real estate prices--came fairly close to splitting their presidential votes on account of having a 'native son' running on the Republican side. An identical 56% also voted for Bush in '04. Conversely, there are pretty liberal white states like Colorado and Michigan where Hispanics voted to the right of the national total.
This is not to say that Hispanics don't tend to trace white voters at a more localized level, just that the '08 Presidential election does not make it clear that they do. Even for states where data are available, the samples are small and there is not much history to compare it to.