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November 04, 2006 01:30 AM UTC

Will Latinos Vote?

  • 3 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

The Denver Post writes today that Latino activists in Colorado are happy with the gains they’ve made in voter registration, and are looking forward to flexing their muscle at the polls next Tuesday.

Some say the Democrats didn’t do themselves any favors this year endearing themselves to this large and growing voter bloc, citing the recent Democrat-approved legislative special session on immigration that resulted in Referendums H and K on the ballot.

Be that as it may, it’s tough to imagine Latinos feeling so alienated from the Dems that they would consider voting for Bob Beauprez after he turned immigrants into the Willie Horton of 2006. Another Post article today asserts that the Latino vote is solidly behind Bill Ritter in the governor’s race prescisely because of Beauprez’s campaign strategy.

As for General Assembly races, it’s possible that the direct mail pieces some Democrats have sent out describing their “tough position” on immigration will not help them with Latino voters. That loss of support could be offset, however, by new support from independents who identify illegal immigration as a major issue for them but are still disenchanted with Republicans.

The number of Colorado Latinos who registered to vote has increased 3.5 percent since the beginning of 2005 – more than triple the rate of increase in non- Latino voters…

Advocates for immigrants and Latinos say the tally is a snapshot of what can be done as they work to build a stronger political force leading to the 2008 presidential election.

Comments

3 thoughts on “Will Latinos Vote?

  1. The most recent Ch. 9/Survey USA poll shows Ritter leading 49% to 30% among Hispanics. This may seem to indicate that Hispanics lean towards Ritter… but it shouldn’t. In the same poll, the overall numbers were 57% Ritter 35% Beauprez. As you can see Ritter’s lead smaller among Hispanics than general voters. I know many Hispanics that are very anti illegal immigrant. When people go through the long process of gaining citizenship, they feel cheated when someone else doesn’t.

    In other words, it is dangerous to assume that Hispanics as a group oppose the whole anti illegal immigration stance. I personally know Hispanics that are hard core Republicans. Both liberal and conservative Hispanics seem to base their affiliation not on Hispanic “issues” but rather the same things that white people base their affiliation on.

    1. Or keyboard or something.

      People on both sides seem to forget that Latino voters fall into two categories: 

      Like Salazar, been here since forever.  It strikes me based on interactions with elderly Hispanics from southern CO that the monolingual Spanish US citizens are all up in years.  Their kids and g-kids are fluent in English.  For these people, yes, we need ballots in Spanish.

      The other are naturalized citizens.  I have no feel for their numbers or nations of origin.  Definitely English speaking in order to pass the naturalization test. First and second generation Cuban immigrants were pretty hard core Republican.  The current generation wonders what the big deal is about Castro. 

      It strikes me that both groups, while feeling simpatico for the recent, illegal arrivals, are not thrilled.  Yes, some are, mostly those that can make a dollor off of them.  Legal, merchants, phone cards, you name it. But for those whose trail is not based on income, they don’t like the hedge jumpers (hickenloopers) at all.

      There was a story 15 years ago in the LA Weekly, the Westword of LA.  It was about drywallers in the Antelope Valley in the Mojave.  The original drywallers were mostly white and union.  Then the contractors who used Mexican but mostly legal immigration status, started taking the jobs until the union was pretty much history.  Then the illegals came in, taking over the jobs of the legal Mexicans. 

      Everybody wants to pull up the gangplank after themselves…

      Mi dos centavos

    2. I remember speaking with many Hispanics and Latinos after the ’04 election, and wondering why so many voted for Bush and Republicans.  The answers I got led me to believe that their gut reactions to the issues of homosexuality and abortion led them to vote Republican.

      This makes sense as most Hispanics and Latinos are practicing Catholics.  Additionally, as Winston mentioned, many immigrants here legally don’t like illegals and support tougher laws.

      The Democrats will have to work pretty hard to bring this group of voters into their party.

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