The Latest Public Opinion Polling on Chicano Voting Behavior
One of my joys in writing a regular column on business/politics for the Chicano Veterans Organization over these many years, is that I have the opportunity to express my views in a variety of political venues, as well. Therefore, a public opinion poll that is focused on the voting behavior of Latinos in Arizona seems quite appropriate, and given that the off-year election of this November, will reaffirm this “status quo.” Or, maybe not?
However, my only critique of any public opinion poll on this subject area, never, and I mean “never” is that the history of the Democratic Party, is virtually ignored, thusly, best expressed when the following is considered. To wit, in their book of 1991 and titled, “The Democratic Façade,” authors Daniel Hellinger and Dennis Judd had this to say:
“The financial edge enjoyed by corporations, conservatives, and Republicans has a qualitative dimensions not readily grasped from a superficial analysis of the data on contributions. Corporate capital has managed to organize itself in such a way as to maximize its influence on critical pressure points in the system. Business PAC’s have effectively targeted members of key congressional committees and sub-comittees vital to their particular interests. A good example is the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In 1982, labor PACs contributed the sizable sum of $665, 757 to members of this Committee. However, the combined PAC contributions solely from energy companies ($468,820) and from the real estate and construction industry ($223,223) surpassed total labor contributions. Additional contributions to committee members from PACs linked to banking and finance and corporations involved in food, automobiles, communications, doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical, insurance, aerospace, and other firms together matched the labor contributions a second time over. The situation was similar for other key committees, such as the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, where business PACs accounted for 68% ($11 million) of all PAC contributions made to committee members in1984.
“The need to attract more corporate PAC contributions has strengthened the hand of Democratic leaders who seek to cure the party’s ill by loosening its ties to minorities, the unions, and the working class and poor. Stung by their loss of the presidency and the control of the Senate in 1980, the Democrats decided to seek corporate PAC contributions aggressively. Rep. Tony Coelho (D-Calif.) persuaded big Democratic financiers to contribute to the party’s congressional fund and at the same time helped the Democrats organize more effectively to solicit corporate PAC donations. Both major parties and politicians within each party established “clubs” to facilitate interaction between wealth contributors and politicians. (Richard Gephardt’s “Democratic Leadership Council” is an example.) Major Party figures gave speeches and held conferences for such clubs, but Coelho indicated that political education was hardly the driving motivations for joining. “Access. Access,” he told columnist Elizabeth Drew, “that’s the name of the game. They meet with the leadership and with the chairmen of the committees. We don’t sell legislation: we sell the opportunity to be heard.””
Therefore, and over these many years, Latinos have adapted to these changing political behaviors and which has reaffirmed the notional of the age-old mantra for the “vendidos” of political persuasion and which is applicable and amply “re-invented” when another and prevalent notional is understood for the criticality that is in “protecting the community.”
Of course, another seminal critique when viewing political opinion polls and which tendentiously excludes the Native American communities, given that the majority of Native Americans are urban dwellers in these metropolitan locations. As such, in Arizona, the majority of these populations of the 17 tribal societies, are easily identifying as living in our urban locations and subsequently return to the Rez on most weekends with a preponderance of “citified” good s and services found and located in the wallet or purse.
Now, to this latest Poll and done from the confines of the State of Washington and as applicable to Chicanos here in the Sonoran Desert.
For our astute readers, this, the latest public opinion poll, identifies Immigration Reform as the first and foremost issue that is of importance to any Spanish-speaking person and to a salient community-wide political issue. Not so, of course, given that in the prior presidential cycle, the “agenda” consisted of: 1)Jobs, 2)More Jobs, 3) Education, and 4) Immigration Reform. But this poll, is, indeed correct in one of its conclusions, and that being that Latinos are failing to tap their voting potential, given that Latinos do not match the Anglo Standard of 72% registered and 64% voting while among Latinos, 52% were registered and 40% voted. And yet, every public opinion poll conducted since time immemorial in Arizona, has achieved this almost identical conclusion. As such, an always un-concretized “potential.”
And to more “subtlety and nuance” found in Latino Decision’s poll and done for the America’s Voice, an immigrant rights and advocacy organization, is the following:
1. Latino voters in Arizona place a higher priority on immigration reform than Latinos in the rest of the country.
2. Arizona Latinos are more likely to vote to support their community than a political party.
3. Arizona Latinos say they are more likely than their counterparts in other states to reward Republicans who support immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Additional notes include that today’s Arizona Latino population is at 30% and in 2050 will achieve or constitute a 44% of the total population. Moreover, the median age of Latinos is at 27 years-of-age, while the median age of Anglos is at 45 years-of-age. Unfortunately, no attention was given to the influx of those souls moving to Arizona from throughout the United States, even though two out of three persons return to their state of origin and done within the first year of arrival.
And yet, the “status quo” demonstrates the following:
In last year’s election cycle, Democratic Congresswoman Anne Kirkpatrick was returned to Congress due to the Native American and Chicano voters, despite this District being a Republican voter-majority district. Also, Congresswoman Kyrstin Sinema was elected due to Native American and Chicano voters despite this District being a Republican voter-majority district. Further, Democratic Congressman Ron Barber was elected due to Native American and Chicano voters despite this District being a Republican voter-majority district.
Consequently, in the final analysis, will the Democratic PACs and their attendant political operatives come to realize that wasting monies on ‘messaging’ via communications outlets such as television ads, be re-directed into numerous voter registration drives as well as GOTV efforts, and done in order to “move the votes” in a progressive direction, become the new “status quo”?
Not likely and which hasn’t occurred for the most part, since 1984. And given today’s political exigencies in our white Democracy, tax rates will continued to be reduced benefiting the wealthy, but the YOYO or the “you’re on your own” economics will never happen when “protecting the community” is employed, writ large, as a political Offense Mechanism.
Consequently, in the final analysis, will the Democratic PACs and their attendant political operatives come to realize that wasting monies on ‘messaging’ via communications outlets such as television ads, be re-directed into numerous voter registration drives as well as GOTV efforts, and done in order to “move the votes” in a progressive direction, become the new “status quo”? Not likely and which hasn’t occurred for the most part, since 1984.
And given today’s political exigencies in our white Democracy, tax rates will continued to be reduced benefiting the wealthy, but the YOYO or the “you’re on your own” economics will never happen when “protecting the community” is employed, writ large, as a political Offense Mechanism.
Now, on to the next public opinion poll–soon to arrive over the transom, and at the behest of the NSA! on to the next public opinion poll–soon to arrive over the transom, and at the behest of the NSA!