Latinos Become California’s Largest Demographic Though Political Clout Lags

Rory Carroll, Guardian (London), March 17, 2014

It is a demographic milestone signalling the changing face of America: this month, Latinos will overtake whites to become California’s largest racial/ethnic group.

They will officially make up 39% of the country’s most populous state, edging past the 38.8% who are white non-Hispanic, and dwarfing the Asian American and African American communities.

Demographic ascendance is producing a fast growing ethnic voting bloc nationwide. The Latino electorate, which cast ballots in record numbers in the 2012 presidential election, is expected to double within a generation. “An awakened giant”, declared the Pew Research Center.

So why, then, are Latinos taking a political hammering? Immigration reform, a priority for the community, is flatlining in Washington. Meanwhile the number of people deported under President Barack Obama is set to reach two million next month, far outstripping deportations during the Bush administration.

Frustrated activists and detainees are marching and fasting to protest what they call abandonment by Democrats and Republicans. Janet Murguía, head of the National Council of La Raza, the country’s oldest and largest Hispanic advocacy group, recently underlined the alienation by calling Obama, a supposed ally, “the deporter-in-chief”.

Stung by the criticism, last week the president met with Latino lawmakers and ordered immigration officials to review deportation practices to see if they could be “more humanely” enforced “within the confines of the law”. The move signalled a possible easing, but fell well short of activists’ central demand, that Obama use executive action to slow deportations.

For all the talk of ascendance, Latinos are learning a harsh truth: the “browning of America”, a phenomenon trumpeted for decades, has yielded slow, uneven results. Hispanic political clout lags at the local, state and national levels.

“Demographic triumphalism masks economic, organisational and structural weakness,” said Roberto Suro, a Latino affairs scholar at the University of Southern California. On election day 2012, there were 53 million Latinos in the US–17.2% of the population. But they accounted for just 10.8% of eligible voters and 8.4% of actual voters. Furthermore, half lived in Texas and California, which don’t swing in presidential races. Democratic and moderate Republican leaders know all this, and so largely pay lip-service to latino concerns, said Suro. “It’s all about voting, where you vote, and the next election.”

Mark Hugo Lopez, director of the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project, said demographic growth did not translate into equivalent political heft. “Latinos are punching below their weight.” There are very few districts where Latino votes could make a difference in November’s congressional elections, he said.

Latinos have seemed on the verge of breakthrough for the past decade. George W Bush courted them in 2004, neutralising though not eliminating the Democrats’ traditional advantage, and snatched battleground states like New Mexico from John Kerry. Bush tried but failed to deliver immigration reform.

Latinos rewarded Obama’s outreach in 2008 by arguably delivering him as many as eight states and 80 electoral college votes. Four years later they helped him keep the White House. A record 11.2 million Latinos voted in 2012, and they broke for Obama over Mitt Romney by a margin of 71% to 27%, keeping swing states like Colorado and Nevada blue.

It seemed Latinos’ time had come. Obama promised to champion immigration reform in his second term. Chastened Republicans spoke of reaching out. The Senate passed a bill.

Then the momentum faltered. Conservative Republicans in the House kiboshed reform. Now, there is a consensus that this year won’t see any changes, and the president said he was powerless to staunch the flow of deportations.

Latinos cannot blame these defeats solely on GOP radicals, said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. “As a community we’re still developing, maturing. With every electoral cycle Latino political impact is increasing but we understand there is much more to do.”

Of 53 million Latinos, seven million are undocumented immigrants, five million are legal immigrants who are not citizens and cannot vote, and 17 million are too young to vote (for now). That leaves an electorate of just 24 million, of which less than half votes, compared to around two-thirds of whites and African Americans.

Many factors impede political mobilisation. One is youth. The median age of Latinos in the US is 27, and just 18 for those born in the US. And like people of other races, they tend to pay attention to politics later in life. This means the 50,000 Latinos who turn 18 every month may take more than a decade to make an electoral impact.

Insecurity about English and institutional weakness also discourage voting, said Arturo Ybarra, founder of Watts/Century Latino Organization, which seeks to harness the burgeoning Latino population in south-central Los Angeles.

African Americans are still the dominant political group in parts of south-central LA, such as Compton, despite the fact that they are now minorities there, Ybarro said. He attributes this in part to black Protestant churches providing “tremendous social and political machinery” in contrast to relatively feeble efforts by the Catholic church.

Middle-class Latinos show more political engagement but the financial crisis and education cutbacks hit the community especially hard, marooning many in poverty and debt. “How can you transition without resources and quality education?” said Ybarra.

There is no question Latinos have made big strides. Between 1996 and 2011 the number of Latinos serving in elected office rose from 3,743 to 5,850. That figure includes 24 members of the House of Representatives and two US senators: New Jersey’s Bob Menendez, a Democrat, and Florida’s Marco Rubio, a potential Republican presidential candidate.

With the Latino electorate expected to balloon from 23 million to 40 million by 2030, the number of elected and appointed officials will doubtless swell. Some think those advances justify optimism regardless of the gap between demographic and political power. “I would say the glass is half full,” said Hugo Lopez, of the Pew Research Center.

Vargas, who represents public officials, agreed. “We’ve had a significant impact on the US political system.” He lamented, however, that the electoral system entrenched obstacles. During campaigns both parties focused on those most likely to vote, to the exclusion of Latinos. “If you’re not in the game people don’t phone or knock on the door.” The fact that so many Latinos live in states that are not battlegrounds in presidential races also drains incentive to mobilise.

Lionel Sosa, a Texas-based media guru who advised Ronald Reagan, both Bushes and John McCain on reaching Latinos, said the community can swing outcomes when it comprises more than a quarter of voters and an election is very tight. “You could say Latinos elected (George W)Bush. He won 6,000 more Latino votes in Florida than Al Gore.”

Sosa agreed with Reagan’s famous claim that Latinos were Republicans who just didn’t know it yet – a reference to their social values and immigrant work ethic – but said both parties were now alienating them. Tea Party-tinged xenophobia sabotaged GOP outreach, he said. “Calling illegal workers an alien invasion which brings third world diseases like tuberculosis and leprosy, that’s a turn-off.”

Democrats pocketed Latino votes and took them for granted, said Sosa, but the clock was running out. Twice they voted for Obama and twice they were disappointed. “That says disrespect. So why vote for his candidates? Come the next election, it’ll make you want to stay at home.”

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  • Jesse James

    Don’t worry our political “leaders” in both parties are working as hard as they can to make sure every Latino gets to vote. When there numbers are fully recognized California will cease to be an American state in culture, language, and politics.

    • newscomments70

      “California will cease to be an American state in culture, language, and politics.” We’ve been there for awhile.

      • Jesse James

        So other than street tacos is it a better or a worse place to live now?

        • newscomments70

          It’s unbearable to live in California.

      • QuinnTheEskimo9

        Press “3” for English after the message is played out in Spanish and Farsi.

  • Luca

    SO, you mean republican politicians have been quivering in their boots and staying awake nights trying to figure out ways to pander to a group that has no political clout?

    • Bossman

      They do have political clout. A lot of it is invisible.

      • QuinnTheEskimo9

        Their political clout arises from the FACT that the US government encourages non-white participation, suppresses whites and does not allow us to form political advocacy groups that advance white interests, unlike every other racial/ethnic group in the country, bar none.

        Everytime we try to advance the interests of ourselves and our children, as is allowed single non-white group, we are labeled as haters, xenophobes and Nazis and our jobs threatened.

  • Since when has eligibility stopped them from voting? Even dead people vote in the new America.

    • ncpride

      And cartoon characters. Mickey Mouse voted last election I do believe, but of course we are to believe there is NO voter fraud going on in this country.

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      I’m wondering how long it’ll be before the Latinos elect a California version of Hugo Chavez.

      • Mergatroyd

        They’re electing what they know and like, just like those Californians who escape from the Golden State hell hole are electing high tax, illegal immigrant rights liberal democrats in states where they settle.

        // SARC

        • Grantland

          They’re certainly doing that in Austin, Texas, if Alex Jones has it right.

          • Mergatroyd

            Careful what you believe about Alex Jones. He works for the opposition and is a font of disinformation.



          • Grantland

            Oh I’m well aware aware of the distrust concerning AJ, what with the Bill Cooper denunciation, the “we’re all the same” declamations, the Jewish wife, the refusal to “name the J”.. but, after careful analysis, I believe him to be aware, urgent, but extremely leary of alienating the lemmings. A different audience..

            I have no gurus – not even the immortal WLP, with whom I wholeheartedly agree.

  • So CAL Snowman

    So low IQ, uneducated, invading peasants and their offspring have very little political clout in a formerly technologically advanced, first world White country? This is shocking.

    • Reverend Bacon

      Shocking and false. The politicians are falling all over themselves in order to kowtow to these invaders.

  • Allan477

    Here in Chicago, the Democrats allow the Latinos to vote whether or not they are citizens, whether or not they are here legally. I guess California hasn’t caught up with Chicago politics.

    • r j p

      Tomorrow is the primary!

      • Four Republican candidate for Governor that are said to be credible, all four of them are for drivers licenses for illegal aliens.

        Hooray for “choice.”

    • Mergatroyd

      In Chicago, you don’t have to be alive to vote.

  • San Antonio is an Hispanic run city, from top to bottom. It’s not a good thing if you’re white. The Hispanics seek retribution in a myriad of small ways. Meanwhile, my stupid neighbors in their mostly white gated community are deaf, dumb, and blind to reality. It will take eviction and a forced march out of Aztlan to wake them up, I’m afraid.

    • Bossman

      Miami is also an Hispanic run city so that makes two.

    • Mergatroyd

      They’ll have their property and bank accounts confiscated first, and, they won’t leave alive.

  • This article gets a lot wrong, and I won’t bother refuting it all.

    The few things it gets right are this:

    1. Hispanics were only 8.4% of the electorate in 2012.

    2. Most Hispanics live in states that can be colored red or blue before the votes are counted, but those states are red or blue for factors other than Hispanic voters.

    I can add:

    Hispanics were only 21% of all voters in California in 2012. Incidentally, Hispanics were 21% of all voters in Texas in 2012. And the two-party split between CA Hispanics and TX Hispanics was not that much different. So ask yourself: Why could the media color California blue and Texas red even before any votes were counted? Once you find the answer to that question, you’ll know the fatuousness of articles like these.

    • TXCriollo

      the hispanic voting trends in tx is much different the ca

      • Hispanic vote in California in 2012: 72% Obama, 27% Romney. (Which is very close to how Hispanics vote nationally)

        However, scientific exit polling wasn’t done in Texas. However, the Hispanic heavy counties in southern Texas near the border were solid blue, in the 60s, 70s and 80s percent for Obama. So it’s clear that Texas Hispanics voted more for Obama than Romney, probably somewhere between 65 and 70 percent. Which isn’t very much less than California or the national average.

        • TXCriollo

          Ya but remember not many ppl live there in the larger south texas counties it was like 60 40. Since texas hispanics like myself are usually more euro and been in texas longer better established voting trends will change

    • evilsandmich

      Something else that’s wrong:

      Immigration reform, a priority for the community

      Polls say otherwise; even illegals don’t care about citizenship so long as they can join the Free Stuff Army.

  • JSS

    There is nothing diversity won’t whine about. All the clout they do have is based on nothing but their non white victim status and numbers. It’s not like they have contributed anything else other then moving us along the road to 3rd world status.

    • Ella

      If you are rich, then, it is an endless “slave” underclass to exploit. And you might just have a chance to become a billionaire in a Turd World country.

  • JackKrak

    “Demographic milestone”???

    More like demographic millstone.

  • DailyKenn

    I find it ironic that the black vote is largely concentrated in southern ‘red’ states. Consequently, the electoral college effectively cancels that portion of the black vote during presidential elections.

    • And thank God for that. However, once the Munchkins are legal, they and the blacks will gang up on us in the voting booth and the South will become more purple than it already is in many places.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    It is a demographic milestone signaling the changing face of America: this month, Latinos will overtake whites to become California’s largest racial/ethnic group.

    It already happened…at least a decade ago.

    How soon before Russia recognizes California as a part of Mexico, draws it into the “Russian sphere” of influence and posts missiles along the border?

    As it stands today, about 40% of Californians don’t pay any income tax and a quarter are on Medicaid.

    The number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by a staggering 30 percent since 2007…In addition, 60 percent of all students attending California public schools now qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.

    Almost one-third of all Americans on welfare reside in California.

    I think Bob Linvingstone is right:

    I liquidated my retirement account some 18 years ago, took the penalty and paid the taxes. I took a hit but overcame my loss with the silver and gold that I bought with the balance. I would do it again today.

    • IstvanIN

      Putin is no worse than our own “leaders”. I am so over this so called country. When that Russian newsman threatened to turn us into “radioactive ash”, I thought that would actually help clean things up a bit.

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        Yeah, no kidding:

        Close to 96% of voters want to become part of Russia, according to the Crimean Electoral Commission.

        “We are going home. Crimea is in Russia,” Crimea’s Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov told crowds celebrating in Simferopol’s Lenin Square. Music blared as they cheered and waved Russian flags.

        President Barack Obama, speaking by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, told him Sunday that the Crimean vote took place ‘under duress of Russian military intervention’ and wouldn’t be recognized. The Russian leader responded that the vote fully complied with international norms, the Kremlin said, issuing a statement that showed no sign of diplomatic progress in the crisis.

        The ignorant and stupid American government is now challenging Russia with a strategic intervention in Russia’s back yard. This ‘superpower’ thinks it is going to take over Ukraine and put US missile bases on Russia’s southern border. Keep in mind that this incompetent ‘superpower’ was unable to occupy Iraq after eight years and has been defeated in Afghanistan after 12 years of blowing up women and children, weddings, funerals, health centers, aide workers, farmers, entire villages, and kid’s soccer games.

        — Paul Craig Roberts.

        Excellent articles here:

        http //www darkmoon me/2014/vlad-the-bad-outwits-the-west-by-eric-margolis/#more-18007

        And here: “Whither Ukraine? Will the attempt to steal Ukraine from Russia and incorporate it into Europe trigger World War Three?”

        http //www darkmoon me/2014/ukraine-crisis-portends-apocalypse-by-dr-paul-craig-roberts/

        • me

          Maybe we should appeal to the United Nations as being held hostage by a rouge government, invaded by a hostile enemy, and being victimized because of our ethnicity….all true, but irrelevant in the globalist agenda to genocide Whites. The feds are rattling their sabers at Russia for another bloodbath of massive proportions. More White blood will be spilled, on both sides of the aisle, just like WWI and WW2. It’s the globalist elites’ wet dream.

          • Bon, From the Land of Babble

            That’s a heck of a graphic.

            Appeal to the UN?

            When the Chinese tried to force immigration into Tibet, the UN labeled it ethnic cleansing and genocide. Yet you will never hear a peep out of the UN about the ethnic cleansing and clear and consistent targeting of Whites; if massive flooding of White homelands is happening to “Evil White devils” then it doesn’t count — it is called “diversity.”

            Funny how people look at the imminent extinction of endangered species as a great “global” tragedy but are brainwashed to believe that destruction of the European genotype is great, acceptable and even desirable.

            The UN is a hateful, anti-White cabal that is pushing an evil agenda of zoning, land and water use control, wealth redistribution, global warming, cap and trade, Smart Grid, Smart Meters, carbon taxes, high gasoline prices, global citizens, IB World Schools, Common Core, biofuels, Marxist advancement across the globe, food control, water access control via the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), gun control, health control, the Arab Spring/Winter and unchecked illegal immigration.

            Not one single White life is worth losing for the goals of the EU, UN or current American government.

          • DLRisVH

            It’s worth a try, at this point we have nothing to lose.

      • Triarius

        They would target all the major U.S. cities, this would destroy almost all minority neighborhoods and politicians. Two birds, one stone.

        • Not everyone can feasibly live in the country. I know, I tried it and failed.

          Our cities are home to millions of good Whites who would be incinerated instantly. Be careful of what you wish upon your racial brothers and sisters.

          • WR_the_realist

            Those who think Putin plans to nuke the U.S. are living in a cold war time warp. Putin is a Russian nationalist. It is in Russia’s interest to maintain its naval bases in Crimea and to make sure there aren’t any mass persecutions of ethnic Russians in Ukraine by the more hot headed Ukrainian nationalists. For taking steps to defend these interests Putin is currently being compared to Stalin and Hitler by our most peace loving senator, John McCain.

            Russian knows that if they nuke us we nuke them back. It’s a lousy trade, and Putin isn’t going to make it.

            Crimea, being full of ethnic Russians, just voted to join with Russia. It had been part of Russia before, before Khrushchev gave Crimea to Ukraine, back when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union so it didn’t make much difference anyway.

            Thanks to our suicidal immigration policy I fully expect California to vote to join Mexico within a few decades.

          • kjh64

            No, California won’t vote to join Mexico. Why? Because the Mexicans in California want to be Mexicans, retain their Mexican culture and lifestyle while having all the benefits of living in America. They want Mexico in America and there, they have it. They want their cake and eat it too.

          • Mergatroyd

            Putin is trying to fend off the EU and good for him. What does it have to offer except austerity, gay rights shoved down your throats, open borders to the 3rd world, missiles on your border, orders taken from faceless NWO bureaucrats in Belgium?
            I’d throw my lot with Putin too, in fact I wish he were my president instead of the current NWO, EU, anti-white we’ve got in office now.

            Mexicans are too stupid to know that they vote for exactly what they left behind. They fall for marxist slogan politics and vote for whoever promises to hand them the most of your earnings and property. Typical low IQ, low information voters.

  • “Calling illegal workers an alien invasion which brings third world diseases like tuberculosis and leprosy, that’s a turn-off.”

    Truth hurts, huh?

  • kjh64

    Why shouldn’t Latinos or anyone in our country illegally not get deported? I mean the gall of these people. Try going into Mexico illegally. They promptly deport anyone illegally in the country and confiscate the belongings of illegals there, yet they DEMAND to break OUR laws and stay in OUR country illegally.

  • kjh64

    “Of 53 million Latinos, seven million are undocumented immigrants, five million are legal immigrants who are not citizens and cannot vote”
    Is this article ever wrong. Seven million illegals? They have to be kidding. How about out of the 53 million Latinos, about 35-40 million are here illegally.

    • QuinnTheEskimo9

      When the article mentions 53 million Latinos, that’s just the ones in California.

  • Mergatroyd

    “Meanwhile the number of people deported under President Barack Obama is set to reach two million next month, far outstripping deportations during the Bush administration.”

    The administration is counting arrests at the border as “deportations,” Meh Johnson said as much a few days ago.

    “Under the Obama administration, more than half of those removals that were attributed to ICE are actually a result of Border Patrol arrests that wouldn’t have been counted in prior administrations,” said Rep. John Culberson, Texas Republican.

    “Correct,” Mr. Johnson confirmed

    –Washington Post.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    According to neoliberal, globalist “logic”, massive 3rd world immigration to California was supposed to turn it into the richest, most economically prosperous state in the union. Globalists said that more and more massive 3rd world immigration would inevitably produce a tremendous amount of scientific innovation and technological development that would revolutionize the world. All those 3rd world peasants were supposed to usher in a golden age that would eventually put Americans on Mars in less than a generation. Instead, they brought us Mexifornia, a crumbling 3rd world hell, where a small minority of feudal lords rule over a large number of landless serfs in an increasingly medieval new world order.

    • QuinnTheEskimo9

      The Ukrainians were told the same thing, that if they overthrew their elected leader, joined up with the EU and rejected Putin they’d become rich and prosperous.
      Looks like the Ukrainians in the Crimea have more sense than Americans who fell for the Marxist lies.

  • QuinnTheEskimo9

    Pat Buchanan says they’ll vote themselves entitlements every time. The real losers in all of this are blacks whose leaders keep pushing open borders. As uncomfortable as this is for whites, it is particularly devastating for the black community. Hispanics will take care of their own people and deny blacks everything, they’ll get away with it too because they’re not white.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    A few militant California-was-stolen-from Mexico, Chavez-types have already been elected in local elections in majority Hispanic districts — but their empty rhetoric and sabre rattling against whites are tempered by white democrats at the moment.

    What with the demographic change from mass Hispanic immigration and Whites fleeing the state, it is inevitable that eventually militant, LaRaza Hispanics will take over the entire California political machine top to bottom.

    That’s when it will become very dangerous for any remaining Whites in California.

  • Ella

    I’ve been through San Antonio a few times. The Whites left the city for smaller towns and developed areas literally in the countryside. It was major White flight and basically collapsed the city outside of the touristy areas.