Crosscut‘s Erik Neumann has in interesting piece on the importance of Washington’s growing Hispanic population for the next gubernatorial election:
At 755,790 people, Latinos are Washington’s largest and fastest growing minority, currently making up 11.2 percent of the state’s population, according to the 2010 Census. Some counties are predominantly Latino, with Adams County at 58 percent Latino and Franklin at 50 percent. (By comparison, King County is 8 percent Latino.)
According to [UW political science professor Matt] Barreto, Latinos typically favor Democrats 3-to-1 over Republicans. He adds, however, that there is an ideological split among Latinos to consider. “They tend to identify as conservative, but the vote tends to be Democratic.”
(As an aside, Neumann mostly uses the term Latino instead of Hispanic. The New York Times considered which term to use as part of their coverage of the confirmation hearings for Judge Sotomayor, and decided either is acceptable in most contexts. I tend to use Hispanic, unless discussing an individual or group with a known preference for Latino or Latina)
The most recent poll in the Washington gubernatorial race by SurveyUSA provides crosstabs by race/ethnicity. About 6% of all respondents were Hispanic, which seems about right considering that a chunk that 11.2% Hispanic population cannot vote, either because they lack citizenship or are under the age of 18. (As the Crosscut article points out, Washington’s Hispanic population is a young demographic).
The survey found that Hispanic respondents overwhelmingly choose Inslee over McKenna, 84% to 10%, with only 6% undecided. By contrast, the same survey found among the 8% of respondents identifying as Asian or “other”, 52% to 37% support for Inslee over McKenna, with 11% undecided.
Clearly, Washington’s growing Hispanic population will benefit Inslee and, more generally, Washington Democrats.
The implications for GOTV initiatives are clear.