Pew Research has done a great job of summarizing the growing influence of the Hispanic vote.
The bad news (from an electoral standpoint) is that this heavily Democrat leaning segment of the electorate is growing at an alarming rate in several swing states.
The good news is that Bush proved that a downward trend of Hispanic support for Republican candidates can be reversed.
Here is some pertinent data based on national and state exit polls:
*In 2008, Obama won the Hispanic vote 67-31.
*In 2004, Bush carried 40% of the Hispanic vote – a modern high for a Republican presidential candidate.
*In 1996, Dole captured only 21% of the Hispanic vote.
*Nationwide, 9% of the electorate was Hispanic in 2008 – up 1% from 2004.
*The 2008 Hispanic vote was up significantly from 2004 in the swing states of New Mexico (9%), Colorado (5%) and Nevada (5%).
*In Florida, Obama carried 57% of the Hispanic vote in 2008, despite the fact that 56% voted for Bush in 2004.
Despite receiving a historically high level of Hispanic support in 2004, Bush won the election by the skin of his teeth. Since McCain wasn’t able to even come close to those levels despite his amnesty push preceding the election, pandering doesn’t seem to be all that effective.
Looking at the data, I’m not sure how a Republican can win a general election without 35-40% of the Hispanic vote. Republican strategists know this all too well. I’ll go on record right now predicting that Marco Rubio will be asked to be the VP nominee. Whether or not he will accept is another story altogether.
Here is what he had to say on Friday:
“I’m not going to be the vice president. I’m not,” he said, the second such announcement this month.
“Marco has said repeatedly that he’s not going to be vice president, and all of the speculation in the world isn’t going to change that fact,” senior Rubio advisor Todd Harris added.
There are two possibilities. He either sincerely doesn’t want the job, or he’s trying to delay the inevitable smear campaign from the left. If it’s the former, the campaign to remove Obama will be a tough road. According to a recent Fox News poll, Obama currently leads Romney 70-14 among Hispanics. If Rubio doesn’t accept, it will likely ensure another four years of Obama.