With more data coming out of the Census, showing in hard numbers the growth and potential power of Latino voters, politicos are paying attention.

Today, The Hill wrote a piece on the significance of the Hispanic vote. Among the important points being made by fellow Latino Republicans was to pay attention to tone, focus on the issues and rethink the old ways of “outreach.” For too long the Party has compartmentalized it’s activists and surrogates, and has not rethought methods on how to effectively connect with Hispanic voters.

Read the piece here:

Hispanic vote in critical 2012 states could hold key to GOP Senate majority
Sean J. Miller, The Hill

Hispanic populations have grown dramatically in several states Republicans see as crucial to their party’s efforts to retake the Senate, making some GOP strategists worry that a heated immigration reform debate could nix those efforts.

New census data show minority communities booming in states such as Montana, Nebraska and Missouri, which saw their Hispanic populations leap by 58, 77 and 79 percent, respectively, in the last ten years.

It isn’t lost on GOP strategists that the reelection campaigns for those states’ Democratic senators — Jon Tester, Ben Nelson and Claire McCaskill — are expected to be close. Nor do they need reminding that a Republican majority in the Senate is at least three seats away.

“If this becomes an election all about the economy, there’s a major opening for a Republican candidate to appeal to Latino voters,” said Bob Moore, a Republican pollster. “But if it becomes about immigration, then it could be problematic for the Republican nominee.”

The biggest question now is, what will the GOP do? Will they actually implement a long-term effective strategy or wait until the a few months before Election Day to attempt to connect with Latino voters?

(blogging from my iPhone)

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Today’s “Foto” is of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. I snapped the picture on my iPhone during a weekend run on the National Mall with friends as we enjoyed the rare sunny day. It was a welcomed change from this year’s winter in the Northeast.

My friend’s Rhodesian Ridgeback,  joined us on the run. I think the photo speaks for itself about the quality of our run and the energy of the dog. Anyone want to suggest a caption??

( blogging from my iPhone)

Latino political strength continues to grow. Today from Politico’s Morning Score:

“FIRST IN SCORE – BATTLE: CALIFORNIA – Latino voters in the nation’s largest state continue to have much warmer feelings toward the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, according to a poll that will be released today from GOP pollster Bob Moore and Republican strategist Marty Wilson. In an image test of the two parties, Democrats have a double-digit advantage with California Latinos, who were pivotal in electing Jerry Brown to the governor’s mansion last November. If there’s a pathway for Republicans to win over Latino voters, the poll suggests it involves winning big-ticket national debates on national security, the economy and education. A source familiar with the polling data told Score it shows 69 percent of Latinos would think about supporting a Republican who pledges to “ensure all children had a chance at a first-rate education,” while similar majorities would consider a GOP candidate who will improve the economy and create jobs (65 percent) and protect the country from terrorism (63 percent.)

MORE – WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: Latinos now make up 38 percent of the California population, nearly matching the state’s 40-percent white population. That means any party hoping to compete in statewide elections is going to have to do much better with Latinos than the GOP ticket did last year. Full data from the poll will be released by Moore, the president of Moore Information, and Wilson, a partner at Wilson-Miller Communications, at 10:30 a.m. PST. “

As the U.S. Census continues to release data, Univision, like many organizations continue to break down the numbers. Univision released the following press release:

UNIVISION INSIGHTS: HISPANIC GROWTH OUTPACES PROJECTIONS IN CALIFORNIA, ONE OF THE MOST POPULOUS STATES IN THE COUNTRY

According to New 2010 Census Results, Hispanic population approximately 34.7 million in the 27 states released, accounting for 59 percent of U.S. population growth

NEW YORK, NY – March 09, 2011 – Hispanics are fueling growth in California, one of the most populous states in the country, according to the latest 2010 U.S. Census figures. According to the statistics:
  • Minorities contributed all of the growth in California with Hispanics accounting for 71 percent of the minority growth in the state.
  • More than 14 million Hispanics reside in California.
  • 38 percent of California state residents are of Hispanic origin.
  • The Hispanic population in California grew 28 percent in the last decade.
  • 77 percent of the Hispanic growth in the state was among Adults 18+, while 23 percent was among those under 18.

“The new Census figures just released for California show double-digit growth in the Hispanic population in the state and mirrors the growth pattern we are seeing across the U.S.,” said Elizabeth Ellers, executive vice president, Corporate Research, Univision Communications Inc.

Based on an aggregation of the 27 states releases thus far by the Census bureau:

  • Hispanic population growth is exceeding the most recent Census estimates by more than four percent.
  • Approximately 34.7 million Hispanics in the 27 states released as of 3-8-11.
  • Hispanics contributed 59 percent of the overall population growth in those states.
  • In the last decade, the Hispanic population in these states grew by 41 percent.
  • According to the 2010 Census results, the Hispanic population is less concentrated than 10 years ago. In 2000, 72 percent of the Hispanic population residing in the 27 states released by Census resided in California or Texas. In the 2010 Census, 68% of Hispanics reside either in Texas or California.

The U.S. Census is expected to release state by state information through March 2011. Univision will continue to provide insights focused on the Hispanic data.

National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar wrote an interesting piece about the GOP’s need to connect with Hispanic voters in “North by Southwest.” The article states that the only way for the GOP to stay viable in future elections is by finding ways to appeal to Hispanic voters, and highlights potential candidates that could help the Republican Party better connect with Latinos.  Read the full piece here.

Kraushaar closed his column with the following statement:

“The lesson: Republicans have shown they can compete for the Hispanic vote with the right message and the right candidates. But they also have shown they could easily squander their opportunities. The question: Which path will they take in 2012?”

I agree with Kraushaar. I’ve worked with people who have embraced efforts to connect with Latino voters and others who have squandered the opportunity. The results of the 2010 elections, combined with the reality of new Census numbers, provides those of us pushing the GOP to create a long-term Hispanic outreach plan a new tool to make our case. If the Party doesn’t adjust its’ strategy, the future of the GOP maybe in question.

A major political issue this year is redistricting. With Hispanic heavy states like Texas, Florida, Arizona and Nevada all gaining seats from the census, defining the political influence of Latinos is a hot topic.

FOX news analyst Juan Williams has an interesting take on the issue. Read his piece from The Hill, “New racial order: Hispanics can dare to change political game.” … thoughts?

…Now the role of Hispanic power in Congress is about to change again. This time it will be defined by the placement of the rapidly rising number of Hispanic voters as the new districts are drawn.

One approach, articulated by the syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. at February’s national conference of the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute, is for Hispanics to champion creation of districts with dense Hispanic populations so as to deliver more seats to Hispanic politicians.

The second approach, which I supported at the Chicago conference, argues that Hispanic political power will be better served if it is spread out in the redistricting process over several congressional districts. This would force politicians of every color and both political parties to pay attention to the concerns of Hispanic voters.

Navarrette’s reply to my point of view was simple and honest: Hispanic politicians return his phone calls. White politicians (including those with large numbers of Hispanics in their district) do not.

The Hispanic political community has a decision to make. Do they play by the old rules and seek the highest possible number of Hispanic congressmen? Or do they change the rules? With sharply increased numbers Hispanics have the power to become a sought-after swing vote, a moderating influence on the polarized politics caused by so many hard-right majority-white conservative districts and the smaller number of hard-left black and Latino districts…”

Though for some bilingual education can be controversial topic, new research shows that being bilingual is good for the brain.

The L.A. Times highlighted research presented at American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. demonstrating that the constant back-and-forth between two languages means frequent exercise for the brain’s so-called “executive control functions,” which is responsible for keeping a person focused. Neuroscience researchers say among the positive consequences of bilingualism are:

  • Bilingual children are more effective at multi-tasking.
  • Adults who speak more than one language do a better job prioritizing information in potentially confusing situations.
  • Being bilingual helps ward off early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly.
  • Being bilingual strengthens the prefrontal cortex of the brain tasked with focusing one’s attention, ignoring distractions and holding multiple pieces of information in mind when trying to solve a problem.