Psst! Don’t tell anyone, but according to RCP‘s Sean Trende the Hispanic share of the vote has been virtually stagnant (“almost perfectly flat”) since 2004. … Latinos are a rapidly growing part of the population, but actually turning out to vote is another matter. “[E]ven among eligible voters, Latino participation rates have lagged behind that of other groups,” reports the Pew Hispanic Center.**
Don’t tell this to mainstream reporters busily hyping the need for Mitt Romney to shift his positions in order to appeal to allegedly immigration-obsessed Latinos. For example, The Hill‘s Mike Lillis, who writes.
Latinos voters are also more energized than other groups.
That’s BS pretty much every way you look at it. Lillis’ evidence: “Between 2004 and 2008, for instance, white turnout fell 1 percent, while Latino turnout rose 3 percent.” But Latino voter participation was increasing from a very low base. Even after a small rise it would still be way behind either white or black voter participation. In 2008, reports another Pew study, there was still a 16.2 point gap between the percentage of whites who voted and the percentage of Latinos who voted. Who’s “more energized”–the group that turned out 49.9% of its voters or the one that turned out 66.1%? In the 2010 midterms, the gap was 17.4 percentage points (31.2% of Latinos turned out, 48.6% of whites). The percentage of Latinos turning out actually fell between 2006 and 2010. The black turnout rate rose. Energized? …
As with global warming, the MSM knows what the future holds. The numbers just haven’t been cooperating. …
**–Pew’s stats, unlike Trende’s, do show a moderate increase in the Latino share of total voters (from 6.0 percent in 2004 to 7.4% in 2008). That’s slightly higher than the growth in the African American share of the total vote (which rose from 11.0% to 12.1%). Pew uses data from the Current Population Survey and Trende uses exit poll numbers. I can see arguments for and against both data sets.