With the conclusion of this election the number crunching started. For political junkies, Party leaders, and academia they will all take a look at the numbers to see how and where they won, lost, and, more importantly, with an eye toward the future. They will look at who, the why, and voting trends all of which will be the beginning of the planning for the next election.
The key number to come out of this election was 10 million! 10 million Hispanic voters, 6 out of 10 cast their vote for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. In key Western states that Obama carried and moved from a red state to a blue state included Colorado where 73% of the Hispanics voted Obama. 76% in Nevada and 69% of New Mexico’s Hispanics voted Democrat. In California 77% of the Hispanic community went Democrat. In San Diego, to date, we do not have the number for newly registered Hispanics, but for the first time in 24 years San Diego County is now a Democratic majority. Hispanics through-out the country overwhelmingly registered Democratic.
To say that the “sleeping giant” has awoken would be an overstatement, but the giant is definitely stirring and is make its’ vote heard. As the analysis become available of the election, the impact of the Latino vote will be paramount and the future for all elections will have to take into account the Hispanic vote as never before. To ignore the vote will spell electoral defeat in the future.
One of the other significant trends in this year’s election was the surge in young voters; one third of the voters under 29 were members of minority groups, mainly Latinos.
That is the good news. Hispanics are becoming an integral part of the political dialogue.
Now the burden of participation and action lies with the Hispanic community itself. It does this community no good to register and vote in one election and then to rest on its laurels. While the Hispanic population makes up about 32% of the population in California they only account for 15% of the general vote. Hispanics need to continue registering to vote. Hispanics need to become involved with the political process. And Hispanics need to vote.
While the number of Hispanic voters is encouraging it took an exceptional, historical, election to draw these numbers out. Rarely does an election stir such emotion as the Obama election generated. Will Hispanics continue to register and vote? If the Hispanic community continues to stay involved with the process then elected officials will have to respond to this community’s needs and wants. A responsive electoral will continue to attract Hispanic voters to the polls.
Now that Hispanics have made themselves heard, we as a community need to keep the pressure on, to develop, and grow as a political force. To do any less will only put the sleeping giant back into a slumber!