2008 Elections and immigration reform

Focus on three things. One, the share of voting age population that is Hispanic went from 7% in 2000 to 9% in 2006. Two, four states with populations at least 25% Hispanic hold 104 of the 270 electoral votes needed for presidential candidate victory. Three, the immigration issue unites pretty much the entire Hispanic population in America.
These states are AZ (28% Hispanic), CA (35%), NM (43%) and TX (35%). And we’re not counting the 58 electoral votes in FL (19% Hispanic) and NY (16%).
The Politico website talks about the political perils of the Republicans in immigration reform. “….Another high-profile Capitol Hill debate, coming right after the bitter 2006 discussion, over treatment of the thousands of legal and illegal immigrants in the country could crystallize Hispanics’ views about the political parties for a generation, providing a critical advantage to one of them.”
It goes on:
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research organization, Hispanic voters represented nearly 9 percent of the voting-age population in 2006, up from just over 7 percent in 2000. A 2006 study by Strategic Telemetry, a Democratic research group, predicted that Hispanics will remain the fastest-growing segment of the electorate, accounting for 44 percent of the growth in the nation’s voting-age population by 2020, compared with 14 percent for blacks.
— PFR: Both McCain and Giuliani (in a February 2000 Meet the Press interview) has spoken out strongly in favor of inclusion of Hispanic immigrants through immigration reform.
Back to Politico:
The Democratic National Committee supported a move by Nevada to insert its primary caucuses between those held in Iowa and New Hampshire largely because it would give Latinos a greater voice in the nomination process.
Indeed, Democrats are convinced that if their party can gain an edge with Hispanic voters, they can break the Republican presidential-year hold on several western states, including Nevada and Colorado. That could offset their own party’s loss of strength in the South.