Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I've seen this before ...


Sharon Angle's latest racist ad may push her narrow race for the Senate from Nevada over the finish line -- but it's death for a Republican future in Nevada. It's a modern version of the ads that elected Pete Wilson Governor of California in 1994. "They [brown shadows] keep on coming ..."

Those ads touched off a Latino naturalization and registration effort that continues to this day and that has made California a solidly Democratic state. It looks as if Jerry Brown will be able to cruise over Meg Whitman's millions in this awful year for Democrats -- because California was changed by Pete Wilson's racist campaign.

Nevada is not California, but the demographic trends are there for the same transformation. According to the Census, about 55 percent of Nevadans are white but not Latino -- in comparison to the national figure of 65 percent white. Latinos are over 25 percent of the Nevada population.

Now the Nevada electorate doesn't look anything like that. Those Latinos are younger than whites; many are not yet citizens though they are on the way; many are hurting economically. So they aren't voting in proportion to their numbers yet. But the trend is clear. In 2008, for the first time in years, Democrats surpassed Republican registration numbers. Nevada is one of the states with the highest rate of growth of Latino voting. Latinos are going to be more and more influential in Nevada elections -- and Sharon Angle is making the Republican Party poisonous to Latinos.

Blacks are about 9 percent of Nevadans; although there are tensions with Latinos, Blacks have long concluded that Republicans are poisonous to their communities.

Democrat Harry Reid may not squeak through this year, but California shows unequivocally where this is going. Over time, against a demographic wave, the party of white racism hangs itself.

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