Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Latino New Americans Move the Political Dial in Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia: Immigration Concerns Swing Latino Immigrant Vote

Latinos weren't the only group that flexed its muscles this past Election Day.  New Americans --naturalized citizens and the U.S.-born children of immigrants who were born during the current era of immigration that began in 1965 -- make up another important demographic group that demonstrated its ability to swing an election.  While complete data on New Americans is not yet available, exit polling among native-born Latinos and Latino immigrants tell two important stories. 

First, Latino immigrants voted for Obama at a higher margin than native-born Latinos.  While Obama made an impressive gain among native-born Latino voters, capturing 67% of the Latino vote compared to Kerry's 56% in 2004, the records were smashed with Latino immigrant support coming in at a whopping 78%.  What charged the immigrant vote? Immigration.

Meanwhile, these New American Latino voters made a difference in districts we've never detected their presence in before.  In unprecedented fashion, they provided the critical, extra push for Obama in North Carolina and Indiana, without which victory would have been impossible; and played a significant role in winning Virginia.  These findings suggest that immigrants are having a tsunami impact beyond the Sunshine and Rocky Mountain states and throughout the country.

A preliminary analysis conducted for the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) by Rob Paral and Associates explores the electoral power that was exhibited on Election Day by Latino New Americans and shows:

Indiana and North Carolina Latino New American Voters Helped Push Obama to Victory.

  • In North Carolina, Obama won by approximately 14,000 votes and received the votes of nearly 26,000 more Latino New Americans than McCain-nearly double the margin of victory.
  • In Indiana, Obama won by roughly 26,000 votes, and received the votes of nearly 24,000 more Latino New Americans than John McCain.  The additional votes that Obama received from Latino New Americans who chose him over McCain equals more than 90% of his margin of victory.

Virginia's Latino New American Voters Amounted to a Fifth of Obama's Margin of Victory.

  • In Virginia, Obama won by roughly 156,000 votes, and received the votes of approximately 35,000 more Latino New Americans than McCain. The number of additional votes that Obama received from Latino New Americans who chose him over McCain was equal to one-fifth (more than 20%) of his margin of victory.

Immigrants Voted for Obama Largely Due to Their Concerns About Immigration.  Interviews conducted by Bendixen & Associates among Latino immigrant voters just before the election found that "a rise in discrimination against Hispanics because of the tone of the immigration debate contributed to the rejection of the Republican nominee for President."

President-elect Barack Obama and the 111th Congress cannot afford to disregard the needs and future of the fastest growing part of the American electorate without facing a backlash in 2012.  These stunning election results represent a clear mandate to work towards enacting reform that restores the rule of law, renews confidence in America's immigration system and realistically tackles illegal immigration.
To read more about the New American Electorate click here.


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Last year Emanuel told a Hispanic activist that “there is no way comprehensive immigration reform is happening in the Democratic House, in the Democratic Senate, in the Democratic presidency, in the first term.”

Posted by: Thomas Lillich | Nov 12, 2008 3:10:00 PM

How about the disproportionate criminality of Hispanics? Per DOJ statistics, they're approx 4x as likely as white Americans to be incarcerated. Not to mention their rather dismal high school graduation rates, or the fact that (relatively) very few go on to college. Can America and Americans "afford" to disregard this data when contemplating the demographic tsunami that is bringing largely unwanted change to their communities and their country? I think anyone who gets around a bit knows that barrio is really just a euphemism for a sprawling, suburban Hispanic slum, which is also normally crime-ridden. Thoughtful people might be tempted to ask: Why haven't Mexicans achieved prosperity in Mexico? Which is by no means a nation poor in resources.

Posted by: eh | Nov 13, 2008 12:16:05 AM

Actually, immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native born. This has also been true for almost all of American history. See the study summary below.

Posted by: madeupstatistics | Nov 13, 2008 11:24:02 AM

Immigrants have children. Duh. The statistics relate to Hispanics in aggregate, which is what matters for the future of America. I used to live in California. I know. It's now full of 'barrios' and "bad schools".

Posted by: eh | Nov 13, 2008 9:54:35 PM

Try again. The report analyzed first and second generation immigrants and found lower rates among both. Although interestingly, second generation immigrants have higher rates than their parents. See Table 2.

Your logic is strained. Equating Hispanics with first or second generation immigrant is incorrect. Hispanics have lived in the United States since the nation's founding. Many Hispanics have roots going back ten or more generations.

Posted by: madeupstatistics | Nov 14, 2008 9:03:06 AM

Yes, "higher rates". That means more criminality. And since they are, in many locales, almost a replacement population, what's important is how they compare to native Americans, e.g. Whites. And as I stated, their comparative demographic profile is very bad: disproportional criminality, significantly worse average educational attainment. Anyone with a modicum of common sense knows that the biggest reason Mexico is poor and burdened by poor governance is that it is full of Mexicans. And the more Mexicans you import to the US, the more parts of the US will begin to resemble like Mexico, i.e. a 'barrio'. I know. I lived in California. I saw it happen firsthand. It is more than sad to watch middle class American communities disappear under a tsunami of underclass Hispanics. It has to be stopped. Immigration law must be enforced.

Posted by: eh | Nov 15, 2008 12:37:21 PM

"what's important is how they compare to native Americans, e.g. Whites"

I'm sure the irony in that statement was intentional. But in case it wasn't... I believe native Americans are the people who were here for some 12,000 years before a white person set foot in North America. Second, are African-Americans not at least equally entitled to the status of "native Americans" as white Americans? Third, many of the Hispanic Americans you decry have roots in America going back much further than any white American.

Restrictionists keep saying that it isn't about race, but rather it is about enforcing immigration law. Now, immigrants and their citizen children have lower criminal rates than the rest of the U.S. population. Taking a race blind look at immigration, immigration lowers the crime rate of the nation. (Even taking into account the higher crime rate of citizen children compared to their immigrant parents.)

Perhaps, you are not one of those non-racist restrictionists. Rather, you may be one who believes that America should only allow white immigrants. If so, there isn't really anything for anyone to discuss with you.

Posted by: madeupstatistics | Nov 17, 2008 4:53:13 PM

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