Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Mobilizing Opportunities

Mobilizing Opportunities: The Evolving Latino Electorate and the Future of American Politics

Ricardo Ramírez
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 192
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Mobilizing Opportunities
    Book Description:

    The growth of the Latino population is the most significant demographic shift in the United States today. Yet growth alone cannot explain this population's increasing impact on the electorate; nor can a parsing of its subethnicities. In the most significant analysis to date on the growing political activation of Latinos, Ricardo Ramírez identifies when and where Latino participation in the political process has come about as well as its many motivations. Using a state-centered approach, the author focuses on the interaction between demographic factors and political contexts, from long-term trends in party competition, to the resources and mobilization efforts of ethnic organizations and the Spanish-language media, to the perception of political threat as a basis for mobilization.

    The picture that emerges is one of great temporal and geographic variation. In it, Ramírez captures the transformation of Latinos' civic and political reality and the engines behind the evolution of this crucial electorate.

    Race, Ethnicity, and Politics

    eISBN: 978-0-8139-3511-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    (pp. 1-29)

    In 2008, pundits heralded Latino voters as playing a significant role in the Democratic presidential primary. Having swept up most of the sought-after endorsements of Latino elected officials long before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, the Hillary Clinton campaign believed that Latino votes would follow suit. Latinos were seen as a key component of Clinton’s campaign strategy, and it was expected that the growing bloc of Latino voters could help swing key states in February’s “Super Tuesday.”¹ According to Sergio Bendixen, Clinton’s head of Latino outreach, February 5 “is the firewall, and the Latino vote in California is...

  5. 2 MOBILIZATION EN ESPAÑOL: Spanish-Language Radio and the Reaction to HR 4437
    (pp. 30-53)

    The U.S. Congress faced several controversial issues at the end of its first session in 2005. Among these, U.S. House and Senate Republican leaders tried to salvage legislative priorities such as the renewal of the USA Patriot Act, efforts to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, formulation of a clear policy on the use of torture, and the passage of a budget agreement. There were also questions about whether Republicans in the U.S. House would permanently replace Tom DeLay, the former House Majority leader, after he was indicted by a Texas grand jury in a finance probe....

    (pp. 54-72)

    In the last chapter, I explored the reactive mobilization of Latinos into protest politics as a result of an exogenous political shock, but I suggest that existing studies of minority politics have largely been looking in the wrong place for additional catalysts of political mobilization. By neglecting the proactive mobilization that took place as a result of the convergence of Spanish-language media and Latino organizations, the existing literature misses a piece of the puzzle key to understanding the evolving role of Latinos in American politics. The activation of Latinos into protest politics, according to the established work on social movements...

  7. 4 THE CHANGING CALIFORNIA VOTER: A Case Study of Mobilizing Opportunities and Latino Participation over Time
    (pp. 73-95)

    Perhaps more than any other state, California witnessed many demographic and political changes in the 1990s. The convergence of these dramatic changes makes it increasingly complex to predict what lies ahead for California. Yet, despite these complexities, there are some patterns that help explain California’s current social and political landscape. First, the release of the 2000 Census indicates that California became the third majority-minority state—joining Hawaii and New Mexico.¹ These demographic changes were largely the result of an increase in Latino and Asian immigration, as well as births to minority and immigrant women. The presence of Latinos and Asians...

  8. 5 VOICE OF THE PEOPLE: The Evolution and Effectiveness of Latino Voter Mobilization
    (pp. 96-118)

    The transformation of the electorate is among the most significant changes that have accompanied the demographic change that has occurred in the United States during the last twenty years. Many questions remain as to what role Latinos have played in this transformation, and the consequences of this change. As the preceding chapters have argued, demographic change alone does not always yield immediate and discernible consequences for American politics. It is necessary to first identify how and when Latinos have become activated to take part in the civic and political life of the United States. Politically, however, it is not their...

    (pp. 119-142)

    The story of how and where Latino voters will matter, I contend, is not a story of revolutionary change. Instead, it is a story about evolutionary change in the Latino electorate and the factors that propel the growth in the pool of Latino eligible voters. The tremendous growth in the number of Latino voters is not the endpoint. More Latinos will be eligible to vote in the next eighteen years than the total number of current Latino registered voters. Just as the Latino electorate is evolving, so is the perception of it by pundits and scholars. It didn’t take long...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 143-154)
  11. References
    (pp. 155-166)
  12. Index
    (pp. 167-177)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 178-178)