Hispanics Could Change American Politics Forever - Siouxland News - KMEG 14 and FOX 44

Hispanics Could Change American Politics Forever

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(SIOUX CITY, IA) The make-up of the U.S. electorate is changing.  Some say the Hispanic vote had a huge affect on the outcome this year, and could be a sign of things to come.

So what does this shift in demographics mean for the political parties?

"The Latino population nationwide is growing, and it is playing a more and more significant, over all role in the American electorate," says Patrick McKinlay, a Professor of Political Science at Morningside College.
 
According to The New York Times' exit polls, Hispanics made up ten percent of the electoral vote in the 2012 Election, up one percent from 2008, and President Obama received 71 percent of their vote.

McKinlay says both Democrats and Republicans should open their eyes to a changing American public.
 
"Their audience is more diverse, and has a variety of perspectives that they may want to take stock of if they're going to try and persuade those persons to vote for either the party or position or the policy that they advocate," he says.
 
Erica DeLeon, Executive Director for the Mary J. Treglia Community House in Siouxland, says the response to President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program reinforces the trend.
 
"Going from that state of despair to the state of elation and possibility and future and opportunity in your life, makes me think that they would feel indebted to, or feel so grateful for that party, that that's going to be their top issue when they go to decide who to vote," she says.
 
DeLeon says regardless of party, the Latino vote will go to the candidate that helps them succeed the most.
 
"Their whole fear of either I'm going to be deported, or I'm going to have a successful life, whomever made it happen so they can have a good life is probably going to get their vote going forward," she says.
 
McKinlay says those divisive issues force both parties to walk a fine line.
 
"Politics is also about winning pluralities at least, and in order to gain access to government, and in order to do that, you need to win elections, and in order to win elections, sometimes you follow the voters, and sometimes you lead the voters and it's probably a process of both," he says.

So far, DeLeon says 98 people here in Siouxland have applied for the deferred action program and she anticipates more in the near future.

Hleigh@siouxlandnews.com

www.facebook.com/heatherleighKMEG

http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/president

 

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