Bye, Bye Immigration? I've now heard two** Latino commentators--an NPR academic and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa--argue that it's mistaken to try to appeal to Latinos only through the issue of immigration, Latinos also care deeply about schools, economic development, etc.
Now they tell us! For years we've been hearing little except the argument that anyone who doesn't deliver on "comprehensive immigration reform" was going to lose the crucial sleeping giant ethnic swing vote for a generation. Suddenly it's 'Don't be condescending. There are other ways to win over Hispanics.' Glad to hear it.
But why this shift now? I can think of several theories: 1) Obama tried pandering to Latinos on amnesty and drivers' licenses and it didn't work; 2) Now that California is out of the way, Democrats are looking to the general election, and are therefore trying to move away from the immigration issue because a pro-amnesty and pro-license position would cost them centrist votes; Indeed, after his week of immigration-based Hispandering, Obama didn't even mention those issues (or Latinos) in his laundry-listish Election Night speech, at least as far as I can hear. 3) Specifically, Democrats are preparing for a general election campaign against McCain. The legalization issue won't cut against McCain, who is Mr. Legalization. So Dems have to emphasize other issues--e.g., their traditional support for public schools. And maybe--just maybe--they are setting set the stage for a sneak attack against McCain from his right (at least by Hillary, perhaps on the license issue). 4) The Dems are looking beyond even the general election to governing, and they are trying to avoid leaving Latinos with the expectation that "comprehensive reform" will actually be accomplished early in Clinton or Obama's term--something the Dems have no intention of doing because they want to concentrate on health care; 5) Latinos recognize that by seeming to be single issue voters focused obsessively on allowing more Latinos into the country, they are giving themselves a bad name with everyone else. ...
**--I know--it takes one more to be a Trend. I'm jumping on early. ... 2:02 A.M. link
Double Trouble-When did Theresa LePore move to town? I voted today in Los Angeles and can confirm the complaints from the Obama campaign that the so-called "double bubble" ballot given to non-partisan voters was confusing. Independents were allowed to vote in the Democratic primary, but if they didn't check a little box at the top of the list (in addition to picking a candidate) the machine didn't count their votes. ... I suppose if you read the instructions carefully you could figure it out. I was in a hurry, almost didn't notice the box and only bothered to verify that as a Democrat I didn't have to check it. ... But that raises the question of why the box had to be there at all. If the machine knows I'm a Democrat--and therefore don't have to check the box--that must be because I was given a special Democrat ballot. Which means there must be another kind of ballot--an independent ballot. Which means the machine already knows, if you get an independent ballot and vote in the Democratic primary that you are an independent voting in the Democratic primary! Checking the box is redundant. Why require it? .... One reason it is so confusing, in other words, is because it's nonsensical. ...I'm sure many, many independents wound up not having their votes counted, which presumably cost Obama. ... P.S.: Unless, of course, my vote wasn't counted either. [Whom for?--ed Not telling]
29%: Did Latinos really make up 29% of California Democratic voters, and blacks only 6%? Those are the numbers from the exit polls you hear bandied about--but there appear to be some doubters. ... In the 2004 Dem primary--admittedly, not an early and exciting contest like this years--the figures were 16% Latino, 8% black, notes Blumenthal. How did the African American share go down with Obama in the race? ... Update: Are missing absentee ballots the explanation? ... Valued anecdotal evidence: From emailer Y:
me and my girlfriend vote at heavily Latino precincts in Hollywood. Turn out was not especially heavy -- there were no more than a signature or two on each page on the sign in sheets when we voted mid-day, and the poll workers were saying things were slow.
12:03 A.M. link