CNN has an opinion piece on the importance of the Latino vote for the 2012 election that perpetuates the bad arguments I've periodically written about. There are three major problems.
First, growth of the Latino population does not mean there are registered voters. This should be common sense when you're dealing with a cohort with lots of foreign born individuals. He cites North Carolina without discussing the extremely low number of Latino voters. There is a tendency to conflate current and future trends.
Second, immigration is not the most important issue to Latinos when deciding who to vote for. It just isn't. How many polls do we need before people start internalizing this fact?
Third, this is just wrong:
Hispanics lean Democratic, but it's not a base Democratic vote. Hispanics cast their ballots on issues and in favor of the candidates rather than for the party, much like 40% of the population, which is now considered independent.
Latinos are overwhelmingly a Democratic base. They definitely do not just "lean." He falls into the very common trap of believing that "independents" are truly independent. In fact, a minority are.
In short, the Latino vote is definitely important, but not in the sweeping, generalized, simplistic manner too often portrayed.