Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hispanic Voting Myths

Steven Malanga is a senior editor of City Journal. He writes here on common misunderstandings about Hispanic voting.

First he notes that the large numbers of Hispanic residents do not translate into large numbers of votes:
One-third of adult Hispanics are not U.S. citizens and consequently can’t vote. Even Latinos who are citizens don’t vote as reliably as whites or blacks do, and as a result, their population growth rate doesn’t translate into commensurate voting power. According to U.S. Census data (snip) nearly half of the country’s adult whites participated in the 2010 elections; only 20 percent of adult Latinos did.
I particularly like Malanga's conclusion:
In most cases, income is a far better determinant of voting patterns than race is (blacks are an exception, for historical reasons). The voting of ethnic groups evolves significantly as their incomes change. The ancestors of millions of today’s ethnic voters came to America in the great immigration wave of the early twentieth century and voted reliably Democratic for generations. Over the last 30 years or so, their descendants’ voting allegiances shifted significantly. 
Jews are the other exception to Malanga's "income is a far better determinant of voting patterns" rule.

Perhaps Malanga's ancestors were among the early 1900s immigrants he describes. I recommend his article to you.