The Washington Post today digs into voter registration numbers that should leave the Barack Obama campaign a bit worried: among black and Hispanic voters — especially in key states and districts — voter registration is trending sharply down.
Consider these numbers: Registration among Hispanics nationwide is down 5 percent. But even more troubling is in key swing states like New Mexico and Florida, where registration is down 28 and 10 percent, respectively.
The decline in minority registration “is obviously an area of concern,” said Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, a left-leaning think tank.
But he predicted the Obama campaign “will have enough money and enough focus to mitigate the problem. .?.?. They have five months to get the electorate looking the way they want.”
But this is why the Obama campaign and Democrats should be severely concerned: According to that Pew Research Center survey, the 2008 electorate “was the most racially and ethnically diverse in U.S. history, with nearly one-in-four votes cast by non-whites.”
Two important tables here. First:
Pew Research Center
The voter registration for both black and Hispanic voters rose by a combined 7.6 percent in the 2008 election.
Pew Research Center
That shows how voter registration affected turnout. And in overwhelming numbers, those voters picked Obama. He won the Latino vote 67 percent to John McCain’s 30 percent, and only 5 percent of black voters picked McCain.
But in a twist, this could also provide the Republican Party, led by its first national Director of Hispanic Outreach, Bettina Inclan, with an opportunity to pounce with its never-before-seen strategy to appeal for the Hispanic vote.
“I think the more we talk about the issues and the more we have Republicans going into local communities and saying, ‘This is what Republicans believe in. This is what Democrats believe in,’ Hispanics are going to make decisions for themselves,” Inclan told Business Insider.