This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Will Latinos Influence the Vote in North Carolina?

Today's Los Angeles Times has a story designed to be a lead-in to the Democratic National Convention, which will be held this week in Charlotte, North Carolina. The headline is "In North Carolina, Latinos Gain in Political Importance." 

North Carolina, the site of this week's Democratic National Convention, has a relatively small but fast-growing Latino population. And while Obama has lost ground since 2008 in several states that he won, he has maintained mostly steady support in North Carolina and Virginia, said Tom Jensen, director of Public Polling Policy in Raleigh — with a growing nonwhite population a major reason.
Immigrants have demographically transformed urban areas but also rural communities like Lee County, which is now almost 20% Latino. The shift could increasingly bode ill for Republican presidential candidates in this state and others, Jensen said.
"The Latino vote is one major factor for why North Carolina will maintain this newfound swing status moving forward," he said.
Keep in mind, though, that "moving forward" is the key phrase here. My son, Greg Weeks, refers us to the North Carolina Board of Elections, where we can see that only 1.5 percent of registered voters in North Carolina are currently Latino, compared to 72 percent White and 22 percent Black. To be sure, there is a large group of young Latinos born in North Carolina who will become eligible to vote over the next several years, so the future is certainly going to be influenced by this demographic change, but it's hard to see that this year's election will affected in any measurable way.

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