Ethnic and racial changes in America signal bad news for Obama in 2012. His most fervent supporters, blacks, are now outnumbered by Hispanics, according to Census figures. This means African Americans will likely lose a “substantial amount of political clout,” scholar Torrence Stephens forecast March 28. He is assistant professor of behavioral Sciences at Rollins School of Public Health. The black vote was 98 percent for Obama in 2008.
The country’s population now consists of 196.8 million whites, 50.5 million Hispanics, 37.7 million blacks, and 14.5 million Asians. Latin voters shifted in impressive numbers away from Republicans in 2008, which gave Obama large margins of victory in three battleground states: Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.
But the Obama “spell” among Latinos is fading. For a group that supported Obama heavily in 2008—who won 67 percent of their vote — only 43 percent of Hispanics polled by Univision at the end of last July say Obama is addressing their needs. Another 32 percent said they were uncertain, and 21 percent said the president has done a poor job. In New Mexico, for example, Gallup polling last June found Obama support down to 57 percent from 69 percent in 2008.
The number of Hispanics has risen from 35 million in 2000 to its present 50.5 million. Moreover, they are no longer concentrated in a handful of Southwestern states, where they have lived for decades. They have moved to all parts of the country. The largest percentage increases have been in southern states, where many Republicans now thrive. The Hispanic population has more than doubled in Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, as Linda Chavez has pointed out, with census counts surpassing previous estimates by more than 10 percent in Alabama, Louisiana, and Maryland. Ms. Chavez is an author, columnist and chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity.
Obama and his Democrat tribe thought they had a golden opportunity to capture the affections of Hispanics a year ago when Arizona passed its reasonable but strict immigration-enforcement law. The president welcomed the opportunity to try to pulverize the Republicans on immigration reform. He spent more time in April and May grousing about Arizona’s law then he did doing anything constructive about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Republicans fretted that the Arizona law would make it hard to attract Hispanic voters. But an October story by Hotair.com reported Hispanic voters’ support for Democrat candidates waned in September and October, cutting the backing of Democratic candidates edge from 32 percent support to only 13 percent.