Hispanic Population Surges; Bad News For GOP?

Newly released census figures show that the Hispanic population of the United States is surging rapidly:

The Hispanic population surged 43% in the last decade and Hispanics now make up more than 16% of the nation’s population, according to just-released Census figures.

The surge in Hispanics’ share of the population, larger than demographers initially had expected, underscores the growing importance of the nation’s fastest-growing ethnic group in national — and local — politics.

Every state in the nation saw a surge in Latinos, and traditional Latino gateways along the border still have the highest percentage, other states also saw rapid Hispanic growth: There are now 17  states where Hispanics make up at least 10 percent of the population, including Utah, Rhode Island and Kansas.

In five states, Hispanics now account for at least a quarter of the population. In states such as Texas and Arizona, that could be good news for Democrats, who have been benefitting from a Hispanic backlash against Republicans’ tough rhetoric on illegal immigration. Exit polls indicated that President Obama got two-thirds of the Hispanic vote in the 2008 election.

In addition, there is substantial evidence from states like California that Latino voters have rejected the GOP even more since the 2008 thanks in large part to the party’s stance on immigration issues and the refusal of hard-line conservatives to compromise one inch on immigration reform legislation in the Senate. As I noted when I discussed this last week:

The GOP stands on the verge of losing the fastest growing ethnic group in the country for at least a generation, all because the conservative base continues to cling to a restrictionist, anti-immigrant policy on immigration and refuses to even discuss the possibility of compromise on issues like amnesty for people already in the country illegally. To these conservatives, the answer to the immigration problem is an easy one but the truth it that it isn’t easy, and they’re leading the GOP down the road to electoral disaster.

It’s political suicide, but very few Republicans seem to realize it.


FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Congress, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. MarkedMan says:

    Just to reiterate my (fairly conventional) opinion: if the goal was actually to reduce illegal immigration we could enforce existing laws against people who hire undocumented workers, and write new, tough laws if necessary. If the goal is actually to continue to use illegal immigrant laborers but to keep them fearful and unwilling to complain or organize against unfair labor practices, or to report labor crimes, then the policy we have now is just about perfect.

  2. Andyman says:

    No wonder the evangelists are so big on Quiverfull; it’s their last chance.

  3. tom p says:

    Just to reiterate my (fairly conventional) opinion


  4. ALP says:

    I would like to know, how many of the newly increased Hispanic
    population are US Citizen?

  5. DC Loser says:

    The GOP may reconsider funding Planned Parenthood in Hispanic majority areas.

  6. Jack says:

    Well, if you are a party that hates everyone who isn’t a white Christian male or a barefoot and pregnant white Christian female, eventually, you’ll start losing every election.

  7. wr says:

    That’s true, Jack — unless you can gin up so much fear about “voter fraud” that you make it impossible for anyone but white, Christian males to vote.

  8. mantis says:

    I would like to know, how many of the newly increased Hispanic
    population are US Citizen?

    Good question.

  9. Neil Hudelson says:

    Queue superdestroyer’s racism in 3…2…1…

  10. Herb says:

    If current trends continue, the Hispanic population will rise, which is bad news for Republicans. The only upside is that they’ll all be unemployed, and it’s already been established that unemployment is “good news” for Republicans.

    So maybe it’s wash?

  11. EddieInCA says:

    Hard to support a party of white people who don’t want brown people in it.

  12. Pug says:

    I would like to know, how many of the newly increased Hispanic
    population are US Citizen?

    Don’t know about that, but about 100% of their children will be U.S. citizens. It only takes about 18 years and they will all be able to vote (though probably less than half of them will bother).

  13. Pug says:

    It is certainly worth repeating that when Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980 the electorate was 86% white. When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, the electorate was 68% white.

    In 2012, I’m betting about 66% of voters will be white. It gets tougher and tougher to get 51% when it has to come from only two-thirds of the electorate.

    Both parties have a problem. Republicans can’t get minorities, who are a fast growing percentage of voters, to vote for them. Democrats can’t count on their young and minority voters to show up, especially in mid-term elections.

  14. Dennis Teel says:

    this large population of hispanics this article speaks of are illegals so they don’t matter regarding votes,especially since some sort of legitimate photo id is now required and E-verify will soon be national//.don’t let this article deceive you.mexicans will not ‘rise’ in this country. surely most of you realise that the majority of hispanics in the usa at this time are here illegally.their vote will not count..period..eventually they’ll be moving back to their 3rd world country and believe me the sooner the better.