Friday :: Apr 23, 2010

Arizona GOP Seals Its Own Doom

by CA Pol Junkie

Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer today signed into law an odious bill empowering local police to demand immigration papers from anyone "reasonably suspected" of being in the country illegally. It even lets citizens sue their local police department if they don't think they are locking up enough brown people. The law will certainly be challenged in court on the same grounds that blocked California's Proposition 187. Whether or not the law goes into effect, however, the Arizona Republican Party will pay a very heavy price.

When Proposition 187 passed in 1994, whites were 59% of California adults, 70% of eligible voters, and 78% of actual voters. Hispanics were 24% of adults, 15% of eligible voters, and 9% of actual voters. Four years later in 1998, Hispanics were 13% of voters, a 30% increase in their share of the electorate. In 2006, Hispanics were 19% of California voters. With increasing Hispanic clout in the electorate and Republicans having a reputation for xenophobia, Democrats have increased their majorities in the State Assembly and Senate and it is now difficult for Republicans to be elected statewide.

So what is in store for Arizona? In 2006, Hispanics were 12% of Arizona voters in spite of being 28% of residents. Hispanics are rapidly increasing their percentage of the population by about 0.6% per year and increasing their percentage of the electorate by about 1% per year. This gave Republicans a stark choice: either appeal to those voters or face ever increasing losses. The GOP made their choice. Today and for the foreseeable future Arizona Hispanics are very, very unhappy with Republicans.

According to the 2008 exit poll, Hispanics are about 35 points more Democratic than white voters. Even if the Democratic-Republican split among Hispanic voters remains the same, Arizona becomes 1.4 points more Democratic every four years. If Democrats' share of the Hispanic vote increases by 5 points as a result of Republicans' xenophobia, that means Democrats gain 1.7 points every four years, making it a true toss-up state within the next 10 years.

CA Pol Junkie :: 2:29 PM :: Comments (7) :: Digg It!