Latino interest in voting has dropped off precipitously:
A poll released Tuesday found that even though Latinos strongly back Democrats over Republicans, 65 percent to 22 percent, in the Congressional elections just four weeks away, only 51 percent of Latino registered voters said they would absolutely go to the polls, compared with 70 percent of all registered voters.
I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Kos’ take on this:
Remember, the issue here isn’t even that immigration reform didn’t happen. It’s that Democrats didn’t even fight for it. Obviously, Harry Reid loves to whine about 60 votes, but why not have a vote anyway, and wave the GOP “no” votes in the face of Latino voters this campaign season? Make their hostility to reform and brown people a cornerstone of their campaigns.
Maybe Democrats could get a few more Latino votes if they followed Kos’ prescription, but no political party is going to take a minority with a one-election attention span seriously. Minority power comes from having credible elected officials who convince the majority of the importance of the minority’s interests. It’s hard work and it’s going to take more than an election or two. Latinos need to find a few Congressional districts that have a large Latino minorities, mobilize them, and challenge a white guy with a credible Latino candidate. Elect more mayors, city councilmen and state legislators. In other words, follow the same boring road that every other minority group takes.
I have no doubt that we’ll find a home in the Democratic party, but Latinos need to make a home there on their terms, so their influence will go beyond a one-election marriage of convenience.