fp130 final paper

fp130 final paper - Pressing Issues or Distinct Values: How...

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Pressing Issues or Distinct Values: How the Latino Vote was Won in the 2004 Presidential Election United States Naval Academy
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Pressing Issues or Distinct Values: How the Latino Vote was Won in the 2004 Presidential Election “Mexifornia”—the extraordinary idea that California is becoming increasingly dominated by the Latino culture—is a more real idea than it ever has been. With those of Latino descent reproducing at an alarming rate and increasing immigration comes tremendous population growth. Out of the children born in California in 2003, the majority of them were Latino for the first time since 1850. Also, the state is projected to have a population that consists of 48% Latinos, and only 31% White people by 2040. (Citation) This means that the ever-increasing Latino voting bloc will continue to play a substantial role in elections for years to come. For decades the democratic party had a vice grip on the Hispanic population, but something changed dramatically in the election of 2004. Many contribute President Bush’s victory in a large way to his success in winning over 44% of the Latino vote; as recently as July, the President’s campaign managers dreamed of winning 40% of the vote. (Citation) This change in voting preferences could be considered uncanny. Some argue that the reason the President made giant gains in the Hispanic vote was due to the fact that Latinos supported President Bush’s education and economic platforms. After all, Latinos ranked education and the economy as the two issues that they cared the most about in the 2004 election. (Cit) But this was not why the largest percentage of Latinos voted republican in over forty years; the Hispanic vote was won on moral issues, such as abortion, gay rights, and the way the President was able to connect to his constituency.
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The Latin American vote was more important than it ever has been in the 2004 election. As early as April of 2004, 40% of the Latin American still remained undecided. Combined with the fact that the number of Latino votes increased 14% in the last election, politicians valued the Latino vote highly, especially in battleground states. (cit) In a close election, it was clear that the Latino vote could determine the outcome. The problem would be trying to figure out what issues the Latinos would relate to and would care about. F. Chris Garcia, a political science professor at the University of New Mexico, told the New York Times, "We are up for grabs. That is a good thing for Hispanics; we're going to be more influential in the future and a bigger target for both campaigns." (newsmax) Hispanic issues are similar to many other American interests; polls taken in July confirmed that the top Hispanic issues were education, economy/jobs, and healthcare. According to the scholarly journal
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2008 for the course FP 130 taught by Professor Ernst during the Fall '04 term at Naval Academy.

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fp130 final paper - Pressing Issues or Distinct Values: How...

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