For years we’ve been reading about the Righteous Racial Rage of Hispanics and how the only hope of the Republican Party to survive is to facilitate an auto-coup by its South Florida wing of Jeb Bush and/or Marco Rubio to boost immigration. Sure, the GOP would lose on average on each immigrant, but it would make up for it on volume!
But when I look at the Hispanic turnout numbers in detail, the reality is less electrifying.
From the New York Times:
Yes, Latinos Are Rising, but So Are Latino NonvotersMaybe, deep down, they think that Anglos on average tend to be better than Latinos at running a country, which is why they are here rather than back home in Latin America?
Damien Cave @damiencave JAN. 19, 2016
Here’s the reality of Latino political power today: It’s not what it could be.
Even though 27 million Latinos will be eligible to cast a ballot in November — an increase of 17 percent since 2012 — the Latino population is becoming more distant from the American political process, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
Most Latinos who could vote in the last three national elections chose not to. Turnout was just under 50 percent in 2008, and fell to 48 percent in 2012. It dropped to 27 percent in the 2014 midterms, the lowest rate ever recorded for Latinos.
Another low yield may define 2016 as well.
“We’re seeing the number of people who could vote growing at a faster pace than those who do vote,” said Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic research at Pew Research Center. “There were more nonvoters than voters in the last election, and those nonvoter numbers are rising.”
The lack of engagement is not new; Latino voter turnout has lagged behind that of whites and blacks for decades. Asian-American voter turnout has also been below black and white turnout since at least 1992; it was even with Latino voter turnout in 2012.
But among Latino leaders and social scientists, there is a growing recognition, and increasing concern, that Latinos are punching beneath their weight, and may be stuck in a cycle of disconnection.