Saturday, July 30, 2011

Latinos and Southern Redistricting

The latest issue of PS has an article on Latinos in the South and redistricting.

J. Salvador Peralta and George R. Larkin, "Counting Those Who Count: The Impact of Latino Population Growth on Redistricting in Southern States." PS: Political Science and Politics 44, 3 (2011): 552-561.

The purpose of this article is to examine the potential impact of Hispanics on the electoral geography of the southern United States after the 2010 decennial census. Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the United States today. In addition to traditional Hispanic destinations such as Florida and Texas, many of the areas experiencing the most rapid growth in Hispanic population are southern states such as Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. Geographic information systems are used to determine where majority-minority and influential districts are likely to emerge in southern states. We argue that although the Latino population has increased significantly over the past decade, the proportion of Latinos living in southern states remains relatively low in comparison to the general population. Therefore, no new majority-minority or influence districts will emerge in Louisiana, Mississippi, or Tennessee. Majority-minority and influence districts are likely to emerge in Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia at the state and local levels, but not at the U.S. congressional level. Texas and Florida are the only southern states where new majority-minority and influence districts are likely to emerge at the U.S., state, and local levels after the 2010 decennial census

This goes along with other evidence that the Latino vote in new gateways (such as here in NC) will not be a decisive factor in the short term, though certainly will be in the long term. For 2012 we will hear a lot about that vote for both the presidential and congressional levels, but it is not likely to be critical in most states. Not only is the population currently too small, but too few Latinos are eligible to vote.


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