Were Ethnic Minorities driving the US elections?


As a newly re-elected President Barack Obama promises that the best is yet to come, ethnic minorities in the US hope that this will include fulfilling president’s promise to adopt new immigration policy and to create a framework for legalizing existing long term present immigrants.

The message of this presidential election is that both camps; republicans and democrats need to rethink their strategies in regard to ethnic minorities.

Democrats need to fulfill their promises to retain ethnic minority votes, whilst republicans need to change their approach if they want to have a realistic chance in the next presidential race.

The US demographic is changing and incorporates more and more Latinos, Asians and other minorities. William Marsh, political reporter for Tampa Tribunal, described Latino population as a threat to the Republican Party. Perhaps using the word challenge rather than threat would have been a better choice.

According to Reuters/Ipsos Election Day polling, Obama won 66% of the Hispanic vote and Paul Taylor from Pew Research Centre points out that ‘Every four-year cycle the electorate gets a little bit more diverse. And it’s going to continue’. He adds that ‘this is a very powerful demographic that’s changing our politics and our destiny’.

Available data indicates that the US is on route to become a ‘majority minority’ nation and the elections results highlight the political impact they will continue to have, as Latinos are becoming the fastest growing demographic group.

Al Cardenas, the head of the American Conservative Union, says: ‘Our party needs to realize that it’s too old and too white and too male and it needs to figure out how to catch up with the demographics of the country before it’s too late’.

Are things looking up for ethnic minorities in the US?

What are your thoughts? Can President Obama convince the Congress and deliver his promises?



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  1. The problem with political parties “appealing to minorities” is that it can be patronising. What is of concern to minorities is often the same as what is of concern to the majority: jobs, education, healthcare, law and order. What is required is engagement and respect more than polices to appeal to specific groups.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Obama has stated explicitly and on a number of occasions that reforms to US immigration policy will be a major centerpiece of his agenda for his second term, and I have no doubt that immigration will indeed be an important topic precisely because of the growing political power of latinos in the United States. Obama and the Congress have no choice but to address it because if they don’t their administration and party will look bad and they will lose their appeal among America’s fastest-growing minority group.

    Obama and the Democratic party are well-positioned to enact reform that will appeal to the center and to latinos because right now the Democrats are politically well-positioned in general. The Republicans have the excess baggage of being the party that inspires older, white Americans who aren’t happy about (latino) immigration, so their hands are tied when it comes to winning over minorities and immigrants for future elections: if they do too much to make those groups happy, they will lose the support of their traditional base.

    The Republicans are well-aware of this problem and higher ups within the party have been commenting on it more and more frequently, but I agree that the growth of latinos as a percentage of the electorate has always been seen as a ‘threat’ to the future of the party; it is only a ‘challenge’ to the extent that the party must challenge itself to win them over so it doesn’t become politically irrelevant. I have yet to hear a Republican express much sincere interest in advancing the interests and needs of latino voters.

    I personally (as an American) have a lot of optimism about the future of the United States, if only because our democracy is still intact after all these years; the growing political power of minority groups will therefore yield greater attention to their rights and needs. But progress is always erratic and halting. As an example, many on the right have interpreted this election as the end of “hardworking” America as we know it, that the shallacking the Republicans got is a confirmation that America has been taken over by lazy “takers” who just want free government handouts–all while implying that this supposed erosion of traditional American values amounts to a non-white takeover of the United States, spearheaded by a non-white president.

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