John Zogby’s “The Battle for the Latino Vote” at the HuffPo has a couple of graphs that ought to command the attention of every ’08 candidate:
Just to put things in context, consider these figures: Hispanics were 5% of 95 million voters in 1996, 6% of 105 million voters in 2000, and 8.5% of 122 million voters in 2004. With a highly competitive election in 2008 and a heavy voter registration drive, we could be looking at an electorate that includes a Hispanic component amounting to 10% of 130 million voters in 2008.
Republicans took a drubbing among Hispanics this year. From George Bush’s 40% share in 2004, the Republicans managed only to garner only 30% this year. Just think what that means in the context of huge growth in the numbers Hispanic voters. For 2008 that could mean a decline of 1.3 million Hispanic Republican votes in elections that have been won and lost by mere hundreds and thousands of votes. The impact could be particularly significant in such key competitive states like Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, and Colorado, all of which include large Hispanic populations.
The Latino demographic is expanding even faster in the southeastern states. As things stand now, the explosive growth of Hispanic voters bodes well for Dems — especially those who refuse to get hustled by immigrant-bashing demagoguery.