News / USA

Republican Success Among Hispanics Mixed

Among the big Republican winners in Tuesday's election were three prominent Hispanics, who won two governorships and a senate race. But the overall Hispanic vote still favored Democrats and Republicans may have trouble making gains with this fast-growing segment of voters in future elections.

Tuesday was a big day for Hispanic Republicans, with Brian Sandoval winning the governorship of Nevada and Susana Martinez becoming the first woman governor of New Mexico and the first female Hispanic governor of any state. She celebrated that victory in Las Cruces, New Mexico Tuesday night.

"Tonight we have made history. Together we have taken a decisive step toward bringing bold change to New Mexico," she said.

Martinez won in a state that has trended towards Democrats in recent elections partly by riding the wave of discontent with Democrats that led to GOP victories nationwide. Party leaders hope her Hispanic name and background will help them recruit more Hispanics in the years ahead.

They have similar hopes for another rising Hispanic star, Marco Rubio, who celebrated his senate victory in Florida Tuesday with a nod to his upbringing in the Cuban exile community. "I know America is great not because I read it in a book, but because I have seen it with my eyes. I have been raised in a community of exiles, of people who lost their country, of people who know what it is like to live somewhere else. By the way, it is a community that I am proud to be a part of," he said.

Many observers believe Hispanic Republican stars like Martinez and Rubio could help remind Latino voters of values they share with conservatives. Mark Jones, Chairman of the Political Science Department at Rice University says only one issue stands in the way of Republican gains with Hispanics.

"If we take the immigration issue out, more Hispanics identify with some policies of the Republican Party than with the Democratic Party, in terms of family values, the role of the family in general, issues of gay rights and abortion. You have many Hispanic business owners who are also not wild about large government regulation," he said.

But Jones says Republicans will have a hard time modifying their stance on immigration reform because many of the people elected to Congress Tuesday are hardcore conservatives who believe in strict enforcement of immigration laws and who oppose any move that would amount to an amnesty for those who entered the country illegally.

"They want their version of immigration reform, which is cracking down heavily on undocumented workers here in the United States or nothing. They are going to be very tough to bring over. Likewise, the Democratic Party is unlikely to do the Republicans, such as John Boehner, any favors by lending a hand to ally with moderate Republicans to support compromise legislation," he said.

Recent public opinion polls show that immigration is also an issue that divides Hispanics to some extent, with older, more established voters being less supportive of reform than many younger people or people who recently immigrated to the United States. Opinions on the issue are also stronger among Mexican-Americans than with Latinos from other areas like Cubans and Puerto Ricans.

But Hispanics have reacted negatively to what they perceive as an anti-immigrant attitude among Republicans. Exit polls Tuesday showed around 66 percent of Hispanic voters favored Democrats.

But while Hispanics now represent around 16 percent of the US population, their turnout in Tuesday's midterm election was around eight percent. This reflects a low-voter-turnout trend among Hispanics seen in previous elections as well. But Mark Jones says the power of the Hispanic vote will increase in years ahead as the population grows and younger people enter the voter ranks.

"It is going to be a slow, gradual change as, first, Hispanic children reach the age of 18 and above and then those children actually vote because we know that you cannot vote if you are under age 18, but then the 18-to-25 range also votes very infrequently. So it is going to be a long process," he said.

Jones says, in the 2012 presidential election, Hispanic votes will have the most impact in the southwestern states and in some cities like Chicago where there are large Hispanic communities. But he says the ethnic group's influence nationwide will surely grow in the decades to come as the population expands and the children of immigrants become active voters.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs