Friday, May 13, 2011

Chait: Examining Obama's Latino Strategy

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2011 at 9:54 AM

TNR's Jonathan Chait looks at the strategy behind Obama's immigration push this week:

In the narrow analysis, Texas is a deeply Republican state. Obama lost it by a dozen points in 2008. It can't possibly help him win in 2012. If he does win the state, which could conceivably happen only in some kind of blowout scenario, he'd easily have enough electoral votes elsewhere to win.

However, there is long-term potential in Texas. The Latino population there is as large a proportion as in California, but it's heavily demobilized. A concerted campaign to register Latino voters could eventually change the dynamic. The catch is that you have to be willing to spend $20 million or so in order to register them — a huge investment that is hard to justify short term. But Obama might have enough money in 2012 to spare for a long-term investment. And a high-profile Latino Senate candidate like Sanchez could lure a lot of previously unregistered Latinos. The only way to make this work is to create an energizing atmosphere for Latinos.

What's more, Obama does need to mobilize the Latino vote in general, especially in states like Colorado, New Mexico, and Florida. That's where the immigration push comes in. Obama failed to pass immigration legislation because a coalition of Republicans and red state Democrats killed it. Because the bills never had a high profile vote, though, it looked a lot like Obama simply didn't care. That's why Democrats are making a high profile push now. Obviously, passing something is the best case scenario. But if Republicans want to kill comprehensive reform or even the very modest DREAM Act, the point is to make them do it in a high profile setting that clarifies just who killed it. That kind of clarification is necessary to make the mass mobilization they're planning in Texas effective. You can't carry out a mass registration campaign in an atmosphere where the stakes are perceived to be low.

And since Texas is such a vital center of the Latino community, a large scale effort to register Latinos, plus the Sanchez candidacy, would reverberate nationwide...

So the plan is to make the long-term investment in registering Hispanics in Texas, hastening the state's eventual turn to purple, while maaaybe getting a competitive Senate race (Sanchez is a general running on a centrist message) and helping mobilize Latino voters in true swing states. Add it all together, and three decisions that make little or no sense on their own suddenly make a great deal of sense.

[The New Republic]

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jim Nintzel

  • Slam-Dunk Sisterhood

    Contributor Tom Danehy makes the case that this is the best women’s basketball team the university has ever seen in this week’s cover story. Plus, we have plenty of music, food, arts and news stories for you this week.
    • Feb 20, 2020
  • State of the Arts

    The Spring Arts guide is here to inform you of what's going on in Tucson's vibrant arts scene. Plus, we look at the city's new transportation plan, who's dropping out of Pima County races and plenty of food, music and movie news.
    • Feb 13, 2020
  • The Skinny

    Ballot Blanks
    • Feb 13, 2020
  • More »
Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
DO(OM) Yoga

DO(OM) Yoga @ Floor Polish

Sundays, 8-9 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Shen Yun World Tour with Live Orchestra

Be Inspired. Be Amazed. Experience the Divine Culture's return. Great family event and the perfect gift! “Simply… More

@ Tucson Music Hall Sat., Feb. 22, 2-4:15 & 7:30-9:45 p.m. and Sun., Feb. 23, 1-3:15 p.m. 260 S Church Ave

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Claytoon of the Day: Fat Broads and Horse-Faced Lesbians (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Claytoon of the Day: Fartsy Foreign Meddling (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Where to Rock, This Weekend, Feb. 21-23 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Local Prisoner Advocacy Organization Launches Statewide Ballot Initiative (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Things to Do, This Weekend, Feb. 21-23 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2020 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation