The most recent issue of the American Prospect contains a heartening article by Bob Moser entitled “The End of the Solid South.” The general thesis of the article is that demographics will push the South’s five largest states – Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Texas - to become Democratic strongholds over the long run. As Moser puts it, the “under-30 voters are ethnically diverse, they lean heavily Democratic, and they are just beginning to vote.”
The most surprising material to me in the article relates to the Latino vote. I did not know that the young Cuban vote in Florida is strongly Democratic. Moreover, I certainly did not know that Latino attitudes are as liberal as they are. Here is Moser again: “Republican like to talk about how Latinos are ‘hard-working, religious, family-oriented,’ as if those qualities automatically made people conservative.” Because of their heavy Catholic representation, I expected Latinos to be somewhat more conservative on social issues than the general population. Not so: 59% of Latinos would legalize same-sex marriage (compared to 48% of all voters); 66% would legalize abortion (compared to 59%). And, no surprise on economic issues they are strongly liberal: 55% have a negative view of capitalism; Latinos want more spending on schools and universal, public run health care, and they are willing to raise taxes in support of such programs. On these latter issues, the Latinos are joined by African Americans Asian Americans, and the under 30 Southern whites who voted for Obama in both elections.
The Republican can be expected to use voting exclusion laws to stem the tide, but a rising tide will ultimately sink the Republican boats. Hallelujah!