Texas Observer on the Mystery of Latino Turnout in Texas

Dave Mann writes:

A new set of numbers, released in July by the U.S. Census Bureau, shows how far behind Texas has fallen in Latino voting. The Census Bureau estimated, based on the number of Spanish surnames on the voter rolls, that 38 percent of the Latino U.S. citizens over age 18 in Texas went to the polls in November 2008. That was a slight uptick from 2004, when 29 percent of eligible Latinos voted. But other states experienced huge surges in Latino voting last year. California saw about 57 percent of eligible Latinos vote in 2008, more than double the turnout in 2004. In Florida, 62 percent of Latinos turned out in 2008, nearly double the 2004 proportion. And Nevada’s turnout more than doubled, to 52 percent.

Steve Murdock attributes the low turnout to lack of union organizing in Texas and–oh by the way–a dearth of viable Latino candidates.  Notice how nobody even mentions any more the top of the “Dream Team” ticket–one Tony Sanchez.

Henry Cisneros’s name came up in conversation yesterday.  It’s interesting to imagine how different things might have been had he mounted a statewide race.


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