Hispanic vote still very much in air

By Jason Wojciechowski on August 3, 2003 at 6:03 AM

According to this story about a recent New York Times poll, Hispanics believe in the Democratic Party's principles of government with regard to managing the economy, education, jobs, and the like, but agree with the Republicans on social issues, particularly abortion and gay marriage.

This certainly creates a dilemma for the individuals who have these feelings, but it also puts a lot of pressure on political parties to try to cater to Hispanics. The article says that the group rivals African-Americans in numbers, but I was pretty sure that they were already the largest non-white group in America. Whatever the truth is, it's a huge block of voters that the two parties really need to focus on.

One of the things the article only briefly mentions is how the parties have tended to focus on Hispanics as one large group with monolithic tendencies and beliefs, which is entirely untrue. The split between Democrat government and Republican social tendencies is shown as one example of this, but more importantly, not all people labeled "Hispanic" are created the same. Cubans in Miami are going to have vastly different beliefs and voting patterns than Mexicans in California and Puerto Ricans in New York and Central Americans everywhere. People in these groups came to the U.S. for a variety of reasons, from a variety of conditions, and live in a variety of ways now. To lump them all into one group that needs to be addressed would be folly on the same level of doing the same with white or black voters.

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