Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Just released report: Hispanics Rising II: An Overview of the Growing Power of America’s Hispanic CommunityMay 30, 2008

(this is an updated version of our 2007 Report)

Hispanics Rising Executive Summary

Fueled by huge waves of recent immigration from throughout the Americas, the rapid growth of the Hispanic community
is one of the great American demographic stories of the 21st century. At 15% of the US population today, Hispanics are
now America’s largest “minority” group, and are projected to be 29% of all those living in the United States by 2050. A
majority of Hispanic adults in the United States today are immigrants.
Recognizing that it will be hard to build a 21st century political majority without this fast-growing electorate, Hispanics
have become one of the most volatile and contested swing voting blocks in American politics. George W. Bush’s success
with this community was critical to both of his election victories.
In 2005, the immigration debate introduced a new dynamic in this electorate. The GOP rejected the more enlightened
approach to Hispanics championed by the Bush family, and adopted a much more anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic
approach. This approach was instrumental in fueling the massive immigration rallies in the spring of 2006, and swinging
Hispanics significantly to the Democrats and increasing their turnout in the 2006 elections.
Initial data from 2008 show that these trends continue unabated. Hispanics have voted in record numbers, tripling their
turnout from the 2004 primaries and increasing their share of the vote in the Democratic primaries by 66%. Seventyeight
percent of Hispanics who voted in the presidential primaries this year have voted Democratic.
This emergence of a new, highly energized and pro-Democratic Hispanic electorate could have an enormous impact on
the presidential election. At least 4 of the most important battleground states have significant Hispanic populations.
U.S. Sen. John McCain is not in a strong position to change this dynamic, given that he abandoned his support for
immigration reform and arguably “betrayed” the Hispanic community. While U.S. Sen. Barack Obama was a bit slow in
making a strong appeal to the Hispanic community, he has made great strides in recent weeks.

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