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

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs