Monday Buzz: Immigration, ObamaNet, Una Latina en la Suprema Corte, and More

NDN was one of the first organizations in Washington to explain and celebrate the growing influence of Hispanics in American politics. So it's no surprise that we drove the narrative on Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination in many of the nation's largest media outlets. Simon discussed the impact of Sotomayor's nomination in the USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, Salon, Politics Daily, and the Mexican paper Excelsior. Here are a few excerpts. From the SF Chronicle article, which also makes extensive use of NDN polling data:

But the president's decision to nominate a daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants will have impacts far beyond the court, said Simon Rosenberg, who heads NDN, the Washington, D.C., think tank formerly known as New Democrat Network.

Rosenberg called it "an acknowledgement and affirmation of the great demographic changes taking place in America today. The percentage of people of color in the United States has tripled in just the past 45 years, and America is now on track to become a majority-minority nation in 30 to 40 years."

Andres Ramirez, NDN vice president of Hispanic programs, said the demographic wave has reshaped voting patters and elections and will recast the look of Congress - and the fortunes of the two major political parties - in the next decade.

In the USA Today piece, Simon talks about how Obama will use his online advocacy machine to push his Supreme Court pick:

"Look, the Obama team is using all the tools every day, and we should expect that," said Simon Rosenberg, president of the New Democratic Network, and a pioneering advocate of the use of new media in politics. "This (nomination rollout) had clearly been in the works for some time. They were prepared. They were firing on many cylinders. This is going to be a full, frontal battle over the next several months and the administration is ready and confident."

But that doesn't mean it will be clear sailing.

"It won't be the old pitched battles where there would be 20 or 30 traditional groups fighting it out in Washington," Rosenberg said. He said "amped up" communications through blogs and social networks make a more complicated debate with more actors and activists involved.

And from Salon:

"The Republicans are going to have to be extremely careful," Simon Rosenberg, who's spent a long time analyzing the role of Hispanics in American politics as president of the New Democrat Network, told Salon. "After years of demonizing Hispanics, if they oppose her and it looks political, they're risking further injury with this fast-growing segment of the electorate... There's no road back for the Republican Party that doesn't have them repudiating what they've done on race over the last generation."

Andres also weighed in on Channel 13 Action News in Las Vegas on Sotomayor's nomination, and discussed how Nevada figures into the immigration reform fight in the Las Vegas Sun:

The Republican Party’s stance puts it “in a delicate position” with the increasingly important Hispanic electorate in Nevada and nationwide, according to Andres Ramirez, vice president of Hispanic programs at NDN, a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy organization.

In Nevada, three of four Hispanic voters supported Obama in the general election, according to exit polls — the second-highest show of support among Hispanics nationwide, after New Jersey. In the same election, Hispanics cast 15 percent of all votes in Nevada, a 50 percent increase compared with 2004’s tally.

Immigration, Ramirez said, is a litmus test for Hispanic voters — if they think a candidate, or party, is hostile on the issue, they will show less interest in the candidate’s or party’s overall platform. This occurred in the 2008 election, analysts say.

So the party could “risk alienating Hispanic voters more” by opposing a comprehensive bill, Ramirez said.

Finally, Simon was the kicker quote in a story in the Boston Globe on business warming to the Democrats.