Latinos become the majority in California, but remain political lightweights


                                                     Published time: March 18, 2014 04:02                                                                                                     


San Diego, California (Reuters / Mike Blake)

San Diego, California (Reuters / Mike Blake)












Children, Immigration, Politics, USA                                           

US sociologists have long said that the majority of Americans will not be Caucasian past the coming decades. Already in California,  Latinos have become the majority demographic, though political representation is another matter.

  In March, for the first time ever, the official population of  California will be 39-percent Latino, nudging past the  38.8-percent of state residents who are white non-Hispanic and  far more than the comparatively small Asian American and African  American demographics.

  The number of Latinos was initially expected to surpass the  non-Hispanic white population, although the Latino birth rate  temporarily slowed uncharacteristically.

  This change is not necessarily a surprise, with California  becoming the second state to undergo such a shift after New  Mexico. Hispanic voters have yet to see their population  accurately reflected in national politics, however.

On election day 2012, there were 53 million Latinos in the  US – 17.2-percent of the population,” wrote Rory Carroll of the Guardian. “But they  accounted for just 10.8-percent of eligible voters and  8.4-percent of actual voters. Furthermore, half lived in Texas  and California, which don’t swing presidential races.”

More Hispanics will almost certainly vote in the next  presidential election than the last, although how they will vote  will be difficult to predict. Former US President George Bush  earned more Latino votes than Republicans usually do in 2004, in  part because of a promise to fight for immigration reform. That  plan never came to fruition, and would remain unabated through  the next administration.

  In 2012, Latinos voted for President Obama over Republican  challenger Mitt Romney by a margin of 71-percent to 27-percent.  Obama has yet to repay the favor, though, earning the nickname   “deporter-in-chief” because more people have been  deported during his administration than the previous one.

  As Latinos make up more of the population not only in California  but throughout the US, where they vote will matter less. Last  year, the Pew Research Center called the Hispanic  electorate “an awakened giant” that is likely to double in size  over the next 16 years.

Demographic changes that are coming will reshape the  electorate, and in turn that will likely have impacts on policies  and issues that decision makers focus on in the coming  decades,” Mindy Romero, director of the California Civic  Engagement Project at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change,  told Melody Gutierrez of the San Francisco Chronicle.

  Other experts have said that the numbers could even exceed  current expectation because the current median age for Latinos is  28 years old, prime childbearing years.

A big question mark is about what that means for policy for  youth,” Romero said. “Older voters often aren’t  supportive of youth-specific policies.”

Mark Hugo Lopez, director of the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic  Trends Project, told the Guardian that while the future is bright  for Hispanics hoping for better representation, changes will come  soon.

Latinos are punching below their weight,” he said.   “I would say the glass is half full.”


One thought on “Latinos become the majority in California, but remain political lightweights

  1. Jeb Bush, broer van GW Bush is gehuwd met een Mexicaanse hun zoon half Latino stapte onlangs in politics. Geen kandidaat President wordt nog President zonder de Latino stem, durf ik geen lightweights te noemen. Er zijn diverse goede Gouverneurs van Latino afkomst waarvan er zeker een in de race is voor President kandidaat in 2016. Na Obama de eerste Afro Amerikaanse President komt de eerste Latino . With man only, die tijd is voorbij in de USA en de EU.


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