June 6, 2005


Why Latinos Are Walking Out on the Democrats (Dan Schnur, June 6, 2005, LA Times)

Over the last three presidential election cycles, Latino American support for Democrats has steadily declined, from the 72% that voted for Bill Clinton in 1996 to the 53% that John Kerry received last year. [...]

Various theories try to explain this shift in voting behavior. Like most ethnic groups that immigrated to America during the 19th and 20th centuries, Latinos became more conservative economically as they achieved greater prosperity. Also, Latinos serve in the armed forces at much higher levels than any other ethnic or racial group, leading to higher support of the Republican agenda for national security and military preparedness. Finally, there are rising numbers of Latino voters, both Catholic and evangelical, who relate to the GOP's platform on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

In years past, the debate over illegal immigration allowed some Democrats to try to paint Republicans as racists and xenophobes. But President Bush has outlined a plan that would combine stiffer penalties for illegal immigrants with provisions for a legal guest-worker program that provides a path to citizenship. His former presidential primary rival, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, has introduced separate legislation that accomplishes many of the same goals.

Although most Americans support a crackdown on lawbreakers coming to the U.S., support for legal immigration remains high. By combining these two sentiments into one plan, Bush and McCain have taken the first steps toward making Democratic charges of immigrant-bashing a much harder sell to Latino voters.

The other brewing debate worth considering involves Supreme Court nominations. With Chief Justice William Rehnquist almost certain to retire at the end of the court's current session, and at least three other justices expected to follow his lead before 2008, Bush has an opportunity to dramatically reshape the court. Reports are that he is considering several Latino Americans as nominees, including Alberto Gonzalez, who was confirmed earlier this year as the first Latino U.S. attorney general in history

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 6, 2005 6:52 AM

What's wrong with Kansas is the same thing wrong with Latins; they are people of the Declaration and Constitution.

Posted by: Luciferous at June 6, 2005 5:50 PM