A 21st Century Electoral Map, Courting the Hispanic Vote, and Latinos '08

Both presidential candidates spent this past weekend courting voters in the Southwest. That the candidates are spending these precious last days before the election in this region demonstrates its increasing importance on the emerging 21st century electoral map. Simon is quoted in two new articles on the importance of the southwest and the Latino vote. In Bloomberg, Simon points out that Hispanics will account for more than 40% of the vote in New Mexico. He was also quoted in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Simon Rosenberg, who heads NDN, a moderate Washington, D.C.-based Democratic advocacy group, said the shift reflects how "the Republican brand with Latinos has been severely degraded" by President Bush's leadership on the economy and the war. "And John McCain has not been able to distance himself from it."

But, he added, Democrats carefully laid the groundwork for gains when party leaders like Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader from Nevada, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker from San Francisco, "added Nevada to the early caucus states and put their national convention in Colorado."

"In 2004, John Kerry didn't know the Southwest existed on the map," he said. "They spent no time and no money there."


Speaking of the importance of the Latino vote in this year's election: a new documentary, entitled "Latinos '08," will air on DC-area public television (WETA) tonight at 10 p.m. ET (check your local listings). The film was made by award-winning Los Angeles filmaker Phillip Rodriguez, whom we collaborated with in the making of his latest work.

The Washington Post gave the documentary a very positive review, saying that,

"Director Phillip Rodriguez knows his way around this territory of ironies and pieties layered upon an undeniably real demographic bedrock."

According to Rodriguez, the program explores the increasing presence of Latinos on the American political scene through the wider lens of ethnic politics across U.S. history. “This is just the latest chapter of the American immigrant assimilation story,” Henry Cisneros points out in the film. Cisneros, the former mayor of San Antonio and Clinton Administration cabinet member, is joined in the documentary by a lineup of astute political commentators and scholars.

In addition to Cisneros, the documentary also features Federico Pena, National Co-Chair, Obama Campaign, and Mickey Ibarra, Mickey Ibarra & Associates, all members of NDN's Hispanic Advisory Board. You can also catch NDN President Simon Rosenberg in the documentary.

To learn more about NDN's work in analyzing Hispanic voting and demographic trends, please read our report, Hispanics Rising II and look at our recent polls on the issue of immigration reform in key battleground states.

We hope you'll tune in tonight or if you can't, program your TiVo.