All of a sudden President Obama is interested in Arizona. He probably wrote it off in 2008 running against home grown John McCain, but he might have viewed the state in a different way had the Hispanic population been the factor then it is projected to be in 2012. Activists are popping up everywhere and drives are active to get Latinos registered to vote. With former State Sen. Russell Pearce, the racist who authored SB-1070 voted out of office, there is hope.
Arizona’s Hispanic voting-age population has jumped from 455,000 nine years ago to 845,000 today, 19 percent of the state’s population eligible to vote. These are daunting numbers when you consider just how much mock Gov. Jan Brewer and her lackeys in the Arizona’s legislature have pissed off Latinos. One recent show of force was indicated by Hispanic firefighter Daniel Valenzuela beating a white businesswoman for a spot on the Phoenix City Council. Latinos also played a big part in the defeat of Russell Pearce.
Obama’s chances to get the majority of the Hispanic vote is enhanced by the continued inflexible position Republican candidates are taking against Latinos. With Arizona as the center of the anti-immigration movement, and the GOP firmly entrenched in its similar stance, plus rejuvenated movers and shakers out there touting the anti-immigration rhetoric, there’s little doubt that Hispanics will be fired up in 2012.
And then there’s Richard Carmona, a former U.S. surgeon general in President George W. Bush’s administration, an Independent supported by Pres. Obama, running to fill Sen. Jon Kyl’s vacated seat. If the map that has been presented by the Arizona Redistricting Commission stays in place, the fairer districts, according to everyone but Republicans, will give the Dems. a shot at U.S. Representative seats.
Taking Arizona in 2012 is not really that far-fetched considering Obama won 45 percent of the state running against McCain in 2008. But there are still the economics of the upcoming election and people’s financial situation plus continuing joblessness will affect the President, although the unemployment rate has dropped recently to 8.6 percent nationally.
Democrats are hoping to register approximately 300,000 new Latinos to vote prior to November 2012. Add to that the 400,000 already registered already and you have a formidable force. If they can be convinced to vote. Even if they are legal in Arizona some Hispanics are still scared to stand up against the likes of Russell Pearce who still has plenty of anti-immigrant followers.
One bright spot, Colorado, by the grace of former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo’s drive to alienate Latinos in his state, was able to sign up 225,000 new Hispanics who voted in the 2008 election turning the state from red to blue. Within 6 months of fake Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signing anti-immigration law SB-1070 in 2010, 43,000 new Latinos were registered to vote in Colorado. Obama would love to see a blue Arizona but am sure he would settle for the color purple.