Colorado’s surge of Latino voters: sea change in state politics
I have posted on the Colorado Compact recently. Not long ago, Colorado’s Tom Tomcredo was one the country’s most vocal anti-immigration advocates. Now, what a sea change! As reported in Latino Decisions by guest blogger Robert Pruehs:
The election eve polls conducted by Latino Decisions indicated that almost 87% of Colorado Latinos supported Obama in Colorado and 88% supported the Democrat in Congressional elections.
Those numbers are staggering. Combine this overwhelming support for Democrats with what The Pew Center estimates as 14% of the electorate (up from 8% in 2004), and Latinos have become a key constituency for Democratic success in Colorado. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that Latinos accounted for a whopping 12% of the President’s 54% of the vote (more than double his margin of victory). Questions of Latino mobilization and affect all fell by the wayside on November 6th. From here on out, it is hard to imagine a Colorado policy issue that will not be framed at least in part by the question of how Latinos will be affected by, and what are Latino preferences on, the issue.
This, in many ways, represents a sea-change—and one that is in great part a function of the political participation of the Latino community in Colorado.
The Democrats now control Colorado’s state legislature. The Democrats took control of the lower chamber from the Republicans, and now can command the legislative agenda that stalled significant policy proposals for civil unions and the creation of special tuition rates at institutions of higher learning for undocumented immigrants.