December 24, 2010

If redistricting produces new Hispanic-majority districts, will that benefit Democrats?

It's a complicated set of variables, explained by Nate Silver. After the 2010 census, Texas will get 4 new districts, and under the Voting Rights Act, that might mean that 3 of them will need to be "majority minority" districts deliberately concentrating Hispanic voters. That seems as though it undercuts the idea that the GOP benefits from the new districts in the red state of Texas. But majority minority districts can hurt Democrats overall, even if the districts themselves easily and predictably yield a Democratic congressperson every single time.
If a new Democratic district is created, those Democrats must be taken from somewhere else. It is quite possible that in the process of creating one new Democratic district, two or more districts will be tipped toward Republicans.

The key is how efficiently each party’s voters are allocated. What a party would prefer is that, in the districts where it has a majority, that majority is as small as possible, so as not to waste any of its voters.... Conversely, in those districts where it didn’t have the majority, it would prefer to lose by as many votes as possible — in fact, it would prefer to have none of its voters there at all.

What a party wants to avoid, meanwhile, is districts where it has say 45 percent of the vote: it’s using up a fair number of its voters, but not enough to give it a majority. It would also like to avoid districts where it has close to 100 percent of the vote, since so many of those votes will be superfluous.
Silver is explaining how complicated it is, but he's actually also oversimplifying, because he's assuming each vote is either a Democrat or a Republican. But if you set up a district with 45% Republicans and 55% Democrats, the Republicans might be able to win with a relatively liberal candidate, especially if the Democrats had a candidate who leaned too far to the left. How safe do you want the district to be? If it's super-safe, you waste votes, but the narrower you make the margin, the more likely it is that the other party can swing enough of your party's voters to win.

How predictably Democratic are Hispanic voters? As Silver notes, they are not as locked in for the Democrats as are black voters. Silver says that's what makes Hispanic-majority districts more helpful to the Democrats than black majority districts: A majority minority district can be created without "wasting" as many Democratic votes. That only works, of course, if these Hispanic voters still go for the Democratic candidate.

Silver doesn't talk about the fact that the GOP controls the Texas legislature, so it will dominate the decisionmaking about where the district lines are drawn. It may be able to craft majority minority districts that have a close enough political balance to allow them to win, or it may be able to figure out how to pack the consistently Democratic voters into one district. It's a subtle game, and the parties have gotten really good at playing it over the years.

ADDED: Please note that I've expressed no opinion about whether the Voting Rights Act actually does require Texas to make 3 of the 4 new districts majority Hispanic. I assume there will be plenty of litigation over this.

62 comments:

ricpic said...

The Republicans will only win with conservative candidates and the more the Democrats are seen as the black and hispanic gimme party by natural Republican voters, i.e. whites, the better.

mesquito said...

Greetings from Texas 23, drawn by a Federal judge to elect a Hispanic Democrat. last month we elected Republican Quico Canseco.

AllenS said...

The Voting Rights Act is splitting parts of this country into factions that have nothing to do with each other. Not good.

J.R. said...

Texas Hispanics are not solely Democrats. As Mesquito points out Hispanics are running as Republicans and winning. This makes gerrymandering a bit more difficult. That being said, the Rio Grande Valley, which is predominantly Hispanic, is pretty safe Democratic country.

Maguro said...

Demographics can also shift pretty quickly between congressional districts, so all the parties' fancy analysis is only good for a few election cycles at most. It's anyone's guess who these districts are going to be electing in 10 years.

mesquito said...

"That being said, the Rio Grande Valley, which is predominantly Hispanic, is pretty safe Democratic country."

I always assumed that too. But why did State Rep Aaron Pena (Hidalgo County) switch from D to R?

traditionalguy said...

Well written, Professor. Any media outlet would do well to run your stuff, because the average journalist just cannot figure out such complex things, much less put them in concise words.

edutcher said...

As ric notes, nominating RINOs doesn't work.

As for Hispanics voting Demo, that does seem to be evolving (witness J.R.'s remarks). Those Hispanics eligible to vote don't support the Demo agenda (amnesty, especially) the way they once did, and they tend to be socially conservative. It may be all to the good that Dr Rove's gambit of going for "comprehensive immigration reform" as a way to win the Hispanic vote for the Republicans went down in flames.

PS There was a piece on Hot Air about a proposal to add about 100 members to the House (If we went by the original apportionment in the Constitution, there'd be 10,000). Be interesting to see what a bigger House would do to the balance of power in Congress.

Lincolntf said...

I live adjacent to one of the worst gerrymandered Congressional Districts in the country, the 2nd North Carolina. In all their kindness and wisdom, the Legislature stretched a district along a highway that cuts right through the State. The result is that every bit of money (pork and legit.) that goes to the District is used to persuade minorities NOT to move away from the grungy, industrial-style slums that track with the highway. Once someone "makes it" and moves somewhere decent, they are of no use to the Dems. Can't have that.

madAsHell said...

A majority minority?

....and that's part of the law?

Isn't that inherently racist? Like the Congressional Black Caucus, and Jesse Jackson!

bagoh20 said...

"...under the Voting Rights Act, that might mean that 3 of them will need to be "majority minority" districts deliberately concentrating Hispanic voters."

That should help bring us together - e pluribus unum. The more right thinking and individualistic a person is, the more they are insulted by the real racists in our midst and the laws they pass. How insulting it is to tell someone that because of their ethnicity you can assume their vote.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

How about having the Districts representative of....oh...I don't know....the actual people who LIVE in the District and who have common goals and needs that are unique to their Districts?

Instead they gerrymander 'districts' that look like amoebas or Rorschach tests only to try to keep it so that one party or another can retain power. This has nothing to do with the actual voters who are nothing more than chips on a poker table.

AllenS is right!!! The entire process is meant to divide the country and keep us in camps fighting against each other.

MayBee said...

I swear that about six years ago I heard CNN report a study that found Hispanics don't see themselves as one group.
And it seems like ever since then, our media and politicians have been working very hard to make Hispanics form one (Democrat-voting) group.

DaveW said...

How predictably Democratic are Hispanic voters?

It depends. (Allow me a little liberty here please.) In Texas Hispanics are staunch Catholics. Hispanics have far stronger family units than anglos. Hispanics also have a very strong familiar bond, with generations of families held together by common experiences and bonds. Hispanics also have a superior work ethic, and saving ethic - I observe Hispanics in my area saving for years on end to buy a piece of property and build a house using their community to assist in raising the structure so as to minimize the necessary borrowing.

In other words, Hispanics have a more conservative culture than American conservatives have, at least in my experience. It's a traditional, hard working, build your own, tight community kind of culture that you don't see in so-called conservative communities.

But that's just where I live, southeastern Texas. I don't know what it's like in LA or other gang-infested areas.

I've lived here all my life. I love the Hispanic people, their customs, their devotion to God, their work ethic, and of course, the beautiful women.

The Crack Emcee said...

I don't buy that hispanics/latinos are natural Democrats and/or leftists. I don't even buy that blacks are natural Democrats and/or leftists. What I do buy is that, just as they resist Sarah Palin, what Republicans and conservatives still refuse to do is elevate anyone who can tell hispanics and blacks why they aren't natural Democrats and leftists.

That's what Michael Steele's been trying to become but, let's face it, he's the only kind of black man the Republicans and conservatives will let through - and that kind of black man isn't respected by blacks and hispanics. Too milquetoast.

Someone like me can't catch a break - elbows are too sharp, too uncontrollable, etc. But I'm exactly the kind of person that can do it. Someone who knows the issues, knows the language, and knows what side we're on. But, like Rush Limbaugh, we also think we know better than the rest of you and, just like Rush Limbaugh, you assholes are determined that my type defeat you before we'll be allowed a real chance to help - you won't climb onboard until - just like you did with Rush.

Republicans and conservatives will childishly bite off their nose to spite their face - and all for the sake of appearances.

That's one very-clear thing I've learned.

former law student said...

I swear that about six years ago I heard CNN report a study that found Hispanics don't see themselves as one group.


Many Hispanic families were here the day their country switched from being New Spain to the United States For others, it depends if they came here to flee poverty or Castro, or if they had a free choice.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

You folks DO REALIZE, that REPUBLICANS, support Majority-Minority Districts, right? Sure it makes it very hard to elect Republicans from such districts, BUT it makes it very hard for Democrats to SPREAD to other districts, they're all in a few MAJORITY DEMCRATIC DISTRICTS already!

Majority-Minority Districts have aided Republicans around the nation, in California especially. In CA there are simply, for better or worse, more "Blue Voters," but redistricting has created a large number of "safe districts" for BOTH parties. It's simply that there are far more D's than R's, so the number of "Safe R" districts is much smaller.

The only question is, "Are Hispanic voters like Black voters?" If the answer is "Yes", then Majority-Minority districts will help MINORITY Democrats, if not hte Party, and will aid Republicans. IF they aren't then, it's possible that even in Majority Hispanic Districts, a Republican could run and win...not very comforting, IF you're a Demcorat.

Bob From Ohio said...

The advantage to the GOP regarding population shift is in the Electoral College, not the House.

4 more votes in Texas for Jeb Bush or Sarah Palin.

bagoh20 said...

Crack, those impediments are not related to race. Any mainstream political organization is gonna be milquetoast, and resist ANYONE who is too honest or outspoken.

The extra weight for Black conservatives comes from liberals. They need to climb out of that muck first. The rest is open field. Conservatives pine for like-minded Blacks, but they keep getting let down when the rogue slips back into the fold he never fully escaped, like Colin Powell, or all the Black entertainers who love being capitalists, but don't have the guts to buck the liberal establishment and preach what they practice.

MayBee said...

Many Hispanic families were here the day their country switched from being New Spain to the United States For others, it depends if they came here to flee poverty or Castro, or if they had a free choice.

Yeah. The whole Hispanic thing just wasn't a thing when I was growing up, except for the new immigrants from Mexico. Even then, it was about being Mexican and not Hispanic.

I find this recent change in the way "Hispanics" are discussed politically to be very manipulative.

bagoh20 said...

"Many Hispanic families were here the day their country switched from being New Spain to the United States"

I've lived in L.A. for 30 years and have known thousands of Hispanics. I never met a single one related to these early invaders from New Spain. There were very few of them back then.

I know many Mexicans, Guatemalans, Salvadorians, etc. They definitely do not consider themselves to be in the same group. More importantly, they generally consider themselves individuals, like you and I, when we are thinking straight.

William said...

I live in NY where some of the most ethically challenged politicians in creation walk the earth. The most depressing thing is that up to indictment, and in some cases even after, they win reelection by stunning majorities. This type of gerrymandering does not favor the incumbent so much as it discredits democracy.....Politicians, black, white and hispanic should live in districts where it is necessary to canvass outside of their comfort zone, where their appeal transcends tribal interests, and where a scandal can be career ending.

somefeller said...

This is an old problem for white liberal Democrats, particularly in the South. On the one hand, white liberal Democrats generally favor more minority representation in the Congress. On the other hand, usually the best way to ensure such representation is to create majority-minority districts that also serve to undermine the ability for white Democrats to get elected and that help Republicans to get elected. Plus, Republicans and minority activists are often quite happy to gang up on any critics of this enterprise. Tough nut to crack.

Hagar said...

Strictly speaking, fls, Texas, Nuevo Mexico, and California were never parts of Nuevo Espana.

Otherwise, Feliz Navidad from la Tejana Susana!

traditionalguy said...

@ Crack...I loved your comment. But have you gotten to know Herman Cain? I do know him, and he is the real deal. Merry Christmas to you and your talented Macho Responses.

somefeller said...

bagoh20: I've lived in L.A. for 30 years and have known thousands of Hispanics. I never met a single one related to these early invaders from New Spain. There were very few of them back then.

Maybe there aren't many left in California (though I'm not sure that's the case), but there are a lot of people in Texas and Southwestern states like New Mexico and Colorado that can trace family histories back to those days. Like Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and yours truly.

somefeller said...

mesquito asks: "That being said, the Rio Grande Valley, which is predominantly Hispanic, is pretty safe Democratic country." I always assumed that too. But why did State Rep Aaron Pena (Hidalgo County) switch from D to R?

A lot of Democrats in South Texas are asking the same question. I'd imagine Pena thought he'd be better off as a Republican now that the Texas House is 2 to 1 Republican than the other way around. Plus, I'd imagine he'll get some plum committee appointments.

And as the Canseco example shows, it's not a good idea to assume (as many Democrats do) that Hispanics in Texas will always line up for the Democrats.

somefeller said...

Strictly speaking, fls, Texas, Nuevo Mexico, and California were never parts of Nuevo Espana.

Incorrect. All those places were part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. There were different provinces in that entity, but the North American parts of the Spanish colonies were called New Spain.

traditionalguy said...

In Metro areas Gerrymandering is an art. The goal is selected and then creative minds go to work. One goal is to defeat an opposition leader. You merge some of his old Congressional District with another that votes differently, and then move his district to another area that sees itself as a rival of the other side of town. It would be like making Sarah Palin run in Wisconsin, and moving Boehner's dDistrict to Alaska. That is why everyone fears the other Party doing the redistricting. Here in the second class area that was once the conquered Confederacy, the Feds still effectively make all moves necessary to strengthen black voters' leverage.

Beldar said...

Oh, please, dear lord, Professor Althouse: I didn't expect you to parrot Martin Frost's misinterpretation of the Voting Rights Act just because someone from the NYT also bought it.

For those who don't know -- and Silver's piece doesn't mention it -- Martin Frost, while a Democratic Congressman from Texas, was the mastermind of the 1990s pro-Democrat gerrymander that persisted for many, many years after Texas had become a majority-GOP state.

If you're keeping score, Martin Frost also insisted that the 2003 Texas redistricting violated the Civil Rights Act. Neither the three-judge panel, nor the Supreme Court (which affirmed the three-judge panel's ruling, and you know that's precedential, not just a cert denied), agreed with Frost.

He is not credible.

edutcher said...

For the record, Nuevo Espana became Los Estados Unidos de Mexico. Part of that became part of the US.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

How about having the Districts representative of....oh...I don't know....the actual people who LIVE in the District and who have common goals and needs that are unique to their Districts?

There you go again, trying to be logical.

The Crack Emcee said...

I don't buy that hispanics/latinos are natural Democrats and/or leftists. I don't even buy that blacks are natural Democrats and/or leftists. What I do buy is that, just as they resist Sarah Palin, what Republicans and conservatives still refuse to do is elevate anyone who can tell hispanics and blacks why they aren't natural Democrats and leftists.

A great many staunch Republicans were Democrats a century ago.

And, in some cases, vice versa.

Hagar said...

Mexico is in North America and, with a bit of Meso-America and some Caribbean islands, I think, was called Nuevo Espana. The others, including the "Louisiana Purchase," come to think of it, were territories under military occupation governed from Mexico.

Maguro said...

Incorrect. All those places were part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. There were different provinces in that entity, but the North American parts of the Spanish colonies were called New Spain.

Yeah, all that area was colored in as New Spain on the map, but there were very few actual "Hispanics" living there when it was ceded to the US after the Mexican War. Aside from a few Spanish missionary outposts, most of it was effectively Indian territory.

Beldar said...

What's going to happen in Texas in 2011, based on the 2010 census, is going to exactly track what happened in 2003. Here's the nub of the three-judge panel's original opinion rejecting claims that Republicans had violated the Civil Rights Act in the 2003 redistricting (which, contrary to one of the comments above, wasn't done by one judge, or even three, but was instead put in place by the affirmative majority votes of both chambers of the Texas Legislature plus Gov. Perry's signature (emphasis mine):

"While keenly aware of the long history of discrimination against Latinos and Blacks in Texas, and recognizing that their long struggle for economic and personal freedom is not over, we are compelled to find that this plan was a political product from start to finish. The myriad decisions made during its creation were made in spite of, and not because of, its effects upon Blacks and Latinos."

There will be a ruthless and exacting insistence by all involved that the process be as race-neutral as possible. Race is a poor proxy for political affiliation at best, and of course discriminating on the basis of race is unconstitutional and illegal. So the process will be as race-neutral as it possibly can be, and there will be conspicuous tracks left to show that.

By contrast, the process will emphatically NOT be apolitical, and yes, new district lines will be drawn that reflect the current dominance of the GOP in state-wide voting.

People who rail about redistricting being unduly partisan are unrealistic idealists. Redistricting is, and has to be, inherently political. What we should be concerned about is to make the process as small-d democratic as possible. That translates to having redistricting done by the most representative level of government through which the people can speak, and who they can most easily vote to replace: State legislators.

Ann Althouse said...

Beldar said... "Oh, please, dear lord, Professor Althouse: I didn't expect you to parrot Martin Frost's misinterpretation of the Voting Rights Act just because someone from the NYT also bought it."

I didn't even address the subject of what the VRA actually requires. I deliberately wrote "the VRA... might mean" to exclude that topic. I certainly agree that this is an important issue, and I might discuss it some time, but I'm not purporting to discuss it here.

Beldar said...

Prof. A, thanks for the gracious response. I hope you won't think me ungracious when I say:

The Voting Rights Act "might" require the creation of three new majority-minority district in Texas, and monkeys "might" fly out my butt. I'm not purporting to discuss here whether monkeys will indeed fly out of my butt, but it's an interesting question and I might address it later.

The one thing I'm absolutely, positively sure of that regardless of what the Texas Legislature and Governor do with redistricting in 2011, Martin Frost and the Dems will insist that it's the result of illegal racial discrimination.

Merry Christmas.

J.R. said...

The amalgamation of Hispanics into one ethnically homogeneous group is an error to begin with.

In Texas most Hispanics are of Mexican descent. The culture, and therefore politics, of Mexican Americans differs from that of Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Central Americans, etc. It is not realistic to try to divine the Hispanic party alignment without breaking down the various sub-cultures.

edutcher said...

Maguro said...

Incorrect. All those places were part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. There were different provinces in that entity, but the North American parts of the Spanish colonies were called New Spain.

Yeah, all that area was colored in as New Spain on the map, but there were very few actual "Hispanics" living there when it was ceded to the US after the Mexican War. Aside from a few Spanish missionary outposts, most of it was effectively Indian territory.


Good point. Only New Mexico (the Rio Grande valley north of El Paso) could be said to be a going concern during the decade when the US acquired the Southwest. Except for a small enclave around Tucson, everything west of the Bravo to the Coastal range of California was Indian territory, as was California north of San Francisco Bay (the only major inland settlement was John Sutter's ranch on the Sacramento).

Texas only controlled a small enclave south and east of San Antonio with a few outposts on the Rio Grande (Del Rio, Presidio) and a coastal enclave in the northeast carved out by the American impresarios invited by the Mexican government in the 1820s.

Big Mike said...

There probably is data from the 2010 election published somewhere regarding voting demographics but I haven't seen it yet. The data I have seen shows Latinos break roughly 50-50 between the two parties (there is an edge to Democrats, but it's a slight one). If Democrats assume that Latinos will automatically vote Democrat, they may find themselves surprised.

(I confidently predict that as this phenomenon becomes more pronounced, some far left-of-center fool will publish a book that purports to show that this trend is entirely due to devious Republican behavior. Also some other far left-of-center idiot will publish a book along the lines of "What's Wrong With Kansas," purporting to show that Republican-voting Latinos are voting against their own best interests. Both books will be favorably reviewed in the New York Times.)

Kirby Olson said...

We might as well just take all of Mexico, and let them vote. They send us their crummiest citizens. Why not just take the whole thing, so we get some good new beaches, and also put in some law and order? Plus, then we only have to stop the Hondurans and the Guatemalans from coming in, so the wall won't have to be as long.

Saint Croix said...

The gerrymander is obscene. It benefits both political parties and hurts democracy and the American people. It is entirely designed to keep the powerful in power. Democrats and Republicans alike collude and conspire to thwart our right to vote. The Courts should strike it down. What is a "republican form of government" if not one where the people are sovereign, and their right to vote is respected? And what possible motive is the gerrymander except to thwart that basic idea?

Saint Croix said...

The idea of designing a "safe seat" is repugnant to democracy.

Safe for who?

David said...

One thing Silver avoids, although a commenter brings it up, is that while illegal aliens are counted for apportionment, they can't vote. You can therefore, in areas in which there are large populations of illegals, have many people but few voters. At the extreme, Texas' illegal population is about the same as the target population of a congressional district (approx. 650,000-700,000), so you could have a congressional district with only a handful of voters.

And, in fact, if we look at the 2010 midterms, we see huge disparities in the number of votes cast, from about 223,000 in Tx-10 to about 66,000 in Tx-29. (There are, of course, a lot of reasons for disparities in the number of votes cast.) So to some extent, DOJ permitting, the GOP can use Hispanic non-voters to pad out Hispanic districts that end up voting Republican.

If you look back over antebellum results for House races, you see similar patterns from districts with lots of slaves. Of course, slaves were counted for apportionment at 3/5s of a non-slave, a suggestion that Silver's commenter suggests we adopt for illegal aliens.

Hagar said...

David wins the thread!

c3 said...

I was told there would no longer be labels and that this recent lame duck session proved that we live in a post-partisan world now.

I'm sure I read that somewhere.

c3 said...

But seriously...

The hispanics I have know have traditional Republican values:
-suspicion of government
-self-sufficiency
-rather work their way up then be given it
-family values (yeah, I used that phrase)
-strong faith values

And that's why its sad that the Republican Party is blowing it so badly.

edutcher said...

Saint Croix said...

The idea of designing a "safe seat" is repugnant to democracy.

Safe for who?


Career politicians, R or D, but especially porkers.

In any case, well said, sir!

Alex said...

Screw identity politics. Leave that cesspool to the Dhimmicrats.

Alex said...

-suspicion of government
-self-sufficiency
-rather work their way up then be given it
-family values (yeah, I used that phrase)
-strong faith values


But their Latino identity is #1 above those values. If it wasn't then why would the GOP have to address "Hispanic groups"?

former law student said...

Conservatives pine for like-minded Blacks, but they keep getting let down when the rogue slips back into the fold he never fully escaped, like Colin Powell

Maybe conservatives shouldn't have played Powell for a fool, and made him a front man for their lies.

In this case, being like-minded to conservatives means to be amoral, cynical, and hypocritical. No wonder the supply of "like-minded" blacks is small.

I've lived in L.A. for 30 years and have known thousands of Hispanics. I never met a single one related to these early invaders from New Spain.

What's your point? I've lived in the U.S. for a lot longer, met tens of thousands of Anglos, yet never met a DAR member. So English colonists can safely be ignored?

former law student said...

GOP leading light Meg Whitman tossed her Hispanic housekeeper out on her ear after a decade of faithful service as one of the family. When GOPsters become known for treating fellow human beings with respect and dignity they might have a chance.

Bruce Hayden said...

In Texas most Hispanics are of Mexican descent. The culture, and therefore politics, of Mexican Americans differs from that of Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Central Americans, etc. It is not realistic to try to divine the Hispanic party alignment without breaking down the various sub-cultures.

I have always found it humorous to consider Hispanics an ethnic group. About all they have in common is that at some point in history either they or their ancestors spoke Spanish (or maybe Portuguese), or at least people around them did. And, their Roman Catholicism.

Even wonder why Hispanics had such a range of skin colors? Or why so many are dark? But the one's you see on Spanish language channels are light skinned?

The answer is, of course, that most of the Hispanics most of us see are of Mexican descent, and most of them have predominantly Indian blood. And, yes, the lighter the skin, the more European blood they typically have, and the more power they would tend to wield. Which is why Vincente Fox was the first dark skinned president of Mexico in quite a long time.

The Spanish, somewhat like the French, but very unlike the British, did not bring many of their women over. Rather, they tended to interbreed with the natives. And, keep in mind that a very small number of Spanish conquered the Americas south of our borders, excluding Brazil. And, up until just recently, they managed to keep their power in many of these countries, including Mexico. And, interestingly, often being more willing to marry a European than a dark skinned countryman.

And, that is part of why this is always so humorous, because a great many Hispanics we see, esp. in the SW, have as much, if not more, Indian blood than those we consider Indians. Except their tribe, etc. just happened to be south of our border. In other words, we consider Indians descended from a tribe that occupied part of the U.S. or maybe Canada about the time of our founding to be Native-Americans, but we consider those from tribes, etc. south of the Rio Grande, at that point in time, to be Mexican, and therefore Hispanic. Even if they theoretically grew up within miles of each other, etc.

But, then we also include Europeans who conquered those Indians up to 500 years ago to be Hispanic, as well as any Europeans who married into that group, even if it was only a generation ago. (I knew a blue eyed blond in college whose parents were Americans, but was considered Hispanic because she was born in Mexico).

Oh, and then you have the Hispanics who were here before our founding, or at least before statehood. Think of Secretary Salazar, whose family was farming in the San Louis (upper Rio Grande) valley when Colorado got statehood. He looks almost pure Spanish.

And, yes, we also manage to get Blacks in there too, somehow. Don't know though about the other three races - I am considering our Indians as basically of Oriental stock (and the Asian Indians are primarily White).

I would suggest that you know that a demographic category is pretty bogus, when it is so hard to define, and has so many exceptions.

Maguro said...

Hayden - Vicente Fox's father was from Germany by way of Cincinnatti and his mother was a full-blooded Basque. He may have a nice suntan, but he's really just another white guy.

Bruce Hayden said...

GOP leading light Meg Whitman tossed her Hispanic housekeeper out on her ear after a decade of faithful service as one of the family. When GOPsters become known for treating fellow human beings with respect and dignity they might have a chance.

And what was she supposed to do? The woman was illegal. Whitman could not legally pay her, and now the entire country knew that this woman was illegal. If Whitman had continued paying this woman to work for her, then it would only be a matter of time before both of them would have found themselves in jail.

This is one of the most ridiculous liberal talking points I have heard. If this had come out about Jerry Brown, he likely wouldn't have done any differently. He couldn't. Or, more realistically, Nancy Pelosi, Sens. Feinstein and Boxer, the outgoing Governator, etc. given incoming Gov. Moonbeam's quirks over the years (i.e. Brown is not a good example here because he is less likely to hire "help" than the rest of these CA examples).

Bruce Hayden said...

Hayden - Vicente Fox's father was from Germany by way of Cincinnatti and his mother was a full-blooded Basque. He may have a nice suntan, but he's really just another white guy.

So, even when the rulers of Mexico look like they could have Indian blood, apparently they still don't.

Bruce Hayden said...

Hayden - Vicente Fox's father was from Germany by way of Cincinnatti and his mother was a full-blooded Basque. He may have a nice suntan, but he's really just another white guy.

But it also shows how Mexico has remained stratified on racial grounds for almost 500 years now.

Luke Lea said...

Are we headed for a racially-stratified class society in which our governing elites play one ethnicity off against another?

J Lee said...

Texas 23 in it's current form -- stretching 500-plus miles east-west between San Antonio and El Paso -- was originally created by Texas Democrats (who controlled the Legislature and the governor's office) back in 1991 to make sure incumbent Albert Bustamante was re-elected. Only problem was he immiedately got himself indicted and Republican Henry Bonilla won the seat and held it for the next 14 years.

But he almost lost to Henry Cuellar in 2002, which is in part why you had the redistricting fight in 2003, the lawsuit and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, after the GOP removed Cuellar's hometown of Laredo from the mix. The modified District 23 added more of San Antonio, and Bonilla almost won that in November of '06, but couldn't get to 50 percent and lost a special election runoff to Ciro Rodriguez a month later, after it was clear the Republicans had lost control of the House.

Canseco won the seat from Rodriguez this year as part to the national GOP tsunami. The district remains majority Hispanic, but the results over the past 20 years show that Texas Hispanic voters in general tend to be to the right of the national Democratic Party, and to Hispanic voters in California (which is also why Rick Perry pretty much treated Jan Brewer's battle over the Arizona immigration law as a live wire during the past election, since he had no desire to become Texas' Pete Wilson at a time when state Hispanic voters were swinging back the GOP's way).

Hagar said...

And if West Texas politics is anything like New Mexico's - and I would presume they are - the party affiliation of the local Hispanics may depend more on what faction their great grandparents belonged to before the Anglos arrived, than any party ideology.

c3 said...

FLS;
GOP leading light Meg Whitman tossed her Hispanic housekeeper out on her ear after a decade of faithful service as one of the family.

Election's over, you can drop the campaign schtick.

In a related manner, I did not and do not support AZ's SB 1070 but the BS the Dems put out regarding it damn near make me want to support it.

Immigration is useful club both parties use.

former law student said...

And what was she supposed to do? The woman was illegal. Whitman could not legally pay her, and now the entire country knew that this woman was illegal.

You kinda forget Meg Whitman ran eBay, and eBay knew all about how to bring aliens to work in America:

H1B Visa 2001 - 2010: 1,247
Green Card 2001 - 2010: 315
PERM Total 2005 -2010: 217
PERM Withdrawn 2005 -2010: 3

Further, Meg Whitman had more money than God -- as illustrated by her quixotic campaign -- and easily could have thrown some money at an immigration lawyer to keep that "family member" working for her.

But Meg was thoughtless, and so all that money (a tenth of her eBay fortune?) went down the crapper.

Will GOPsters ever learn how to treat people with respect and dignity? I mean, not the people they report to, but the people who report to them.

dick said...

fls,

You might well ask that of Schumer and Weiner. Neither one seems to be able to keep a staff member much longer than a year. The staff leaves as soon as they can because of the way the boss treats them. Shame that Al D'Amato got tarred with calling Schumer a putz because that is exactly what Schumer is - big time.