Sell your studio stock: The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has hired Chris Lehane, according to Hollywood-writers-strike-must-read Nikki Finke. The producers' group apparently wants "to take a more aggressive approach in its public relations" (LAT's words). Lehane is the counterproductive overspinner whose "aggressive" approach made Al Gore, John Kerry and then Wes Clark president. He also helped California Gov. Gray Davis establish his political legacy in his recall contest against fading action star Arnold Schwarzenegger. ... Update: Radar has more on Lehane's magic touch. ... 4:14 P.M.. link
The Pew Hispanic Center reports that between July 2006 and October 2007 Hispanic voters went from 49/28 Dem-Republican to 57/23--a net Democratic gain of 13 points. In an excellent bit of 'comes-at-a-time'-ism, Pew attributes the shift to Republican anti-comprehensivism:
This U-turn in Hispanic partisan allegiance trends comes at a time when the issue of illegal immigration has become an intense focus of national attention and debate
HuffPo's normally sophisticated Thomas Edsall makes the argument less 501-c-3-ishly: "GOP Driving Hispanics Away with Anti-Immigrant Push." The problem, of course, is that the Pew Center doesn't tell us how many points the Democrats gained among non-Hispanic voters, or all voters generally. These were not good months for the GOP, mainly because of Iraq.
I'm perfectly willing to believe that the immigration debate has hurt the GOP among Hispanics, but without any sort of control group it's impossible to tell how much. (Gallup, for example, has the Republicans losing about 5 points among all voters over the same period--suggesting that the real Hispanic immigration backlash amounted to 8 points net, not 13.) ...
Update: More to the point, Mark Blumenthal notes that Pew's own data
shows that leaned party identification (identifiers plus leaners) among all adults went from 47%-40% Democrat/Republican in July 2006 to 54%-36% in October 2007 -- a net Democratic gain of 11 points.
That would make the extra GOP downturn among Hispanics more like a mere 2%! But that would be hardly be worth writing a big report about. No wonder Pew didn't mention it. ...
P.S.: What are the chances that the Pew Hispanic Center is going to conclude that Hispanics are not important or distinctive--they're really just like everyone else and really not worth studying much? I'd say close to zero. The study would be more credible if it came from the Pew Hellenic Center. ... Update: Steve Sailer says I'm being unfair to Pew. ("Robert Suro and the others at the Pew Hispanic Center are willing to publicly state, for example, that the Hispanic vote isn't as big or powerful as the media typically assume."**) But this report, not written by Suro, seems pretty egregious--and it does hype Hispanic voting power.