The story of the 2010 Census was the booming Latino population growth all across the country, which made Democrats even more optimistic about potential future gains. Democrats have consistently identified shifting demographic trends as a major reason they can compete in unlikely battleground states in the next election. Take Texas, for example. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Patty Murray recently identified the Lone Star State as a potential pickup opportunity for her party, due to changing demographics. Texas witnessed an explosion in Hispanic growth over the past decade, and minorities make up a majority of state residents. But as we've noted before, the trend of Latino population growth being ahead of voter participation is clear upon examination of county turnout figures in the state. While Democrats outperformed Republicans among Latino voters in 2010, the GOP isn't going to stand on the sidelines. In New Mexico -- where the state's Hispanic population grew by nearly a quarter in the past decade -- an open seat Senate race is likely to feature Hispanic candidates from both parties. Democrats hold a registration advantage in New Mexico, but the state's top three elected officials are Hispanic Republicans and Gov. Susana Martinez (R) remains popular in the state. Meanwhile, in Nevada, even as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attracted strong Hispanic support in 2010, Brian Sandoval, a Hispanic Republican, was elected. Updated 12:06 p.m.
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