2008 election

How the Shifting Cuban Vote Can Change History

The Pew Research Center reported last week that the partisan affiliations of Cuban Americans are shifting dramatically as the younger generation coming of age in the United States is affiliating with the Democratic party rather than the GOP.

The shift in the Cuban population — which long leaned Republican — is helping to create a larger shift to the left among Latino voters. Studies of the Cuban population in Florida mark 2004 as the turning point when the number of registered Republicans in Miami-Dade County began declining dramatically. In 2000, 75 percent of Florida Cubans voted for George W. Bush; in 2004, 71 percent voted for Bush; and in 2008, 65 percent voted for McCain. But in 2012, Obama won 49 percent of the Cuban vote in Florida, compared to Romney’s 47 percent, the first time in recent history that a Democratic presidential candidate has outpolled the Republican in that demographic.

This shift provides a powerful example of the increasingly pivotal role of the Latino community in national elections. If Cuban Americans had voted in 2000 in the same patterns as they vote now, the outcome of the 2000 presidential election — which was decided by a handful of votes in Florida (and a bad Supreme Court decision) — could very well have been different, as would our history.

These changes are reflected in the larger Hispanic/Latino community. While the percentage of Latinos may be small, this community is growing fast and increasingly provides the margin to put progressive candidates over the top.

That’s why it makes such a dramatic difference when progressives reach out to the community and hold Republicans accountable for their anti-Latino, anti-immigrant rhetoric. Watch below some of PFAW’s ads that have engaged Latino communities in recent elections.

PFAW

Senator Polliwog (aka Lindsey Graham) on Barack Obama, Michael Phelps, and North Carolina

Barack Obama claimed the state of North Carolina today, which hasn’t gone to a Democrat since Jimmy Carter. But before we could reflect on this historic triumph, we were reminded of something we read last week, which made us think of this:


Don’t worry. We can explain.

Senator Lindsey Graham, warming up a North Carolina audience for McCain, assured them that McCain would win: "He fits North Carolina like a glove…I’ll beat Michael Phelps in swimming before Barack Obama wins North Carolina." Whoops! Graham continued, "Don't let me down, because I can’t swim."

But rather than eating his words, we hope Graham will take the opportunity to learn to swim. Swimming is an important skill, especially for a man who could himself get washed away by a blue wave.

We’ve done him the favor of inquiring about beginner lessons in South Carolina. The Columbia YMCA has two very promising offerings:


Graham was right about one thing: McCain does fit North Carolina like a glove. We tried it ourselves, and the glove kept getting hung up on Asheville:


The End of Choice?

Nov. 4 could be the beginning of the end for the right to choose. In this video, we lay out some scary math.

Ads: Senators Who Put George W. Bush -- Not Their Constituents -- First

As part of People For the American Way's Save the Court campaign, we're running ads in key states targeting senators who voted against their constituents' interests by supporting George W. Bush's extreme judicial nominees. The ads below call out senators who sided with Bush when it came to judicial nominees whose decisions had very real — and negative — impacts on families in their state.

Right Wing Smear on ACORN Leads to Outrageous McCain Debate Claim

Media Uncritically Recites Right-Wing Talking Points, Turns A Blind Eye To Real Voter Suppression

People for the American Way (PFAW) will take out a full-page ad (PDF link) in The New York Times charging the right wing with misleading the public in the ACORN voter registration controversy. The ad also challenges the press for failing to examine the fabrications made against the voter registration group and turning a blind-eye toward the right wing's ongoing effort to disenfranchise voters.

People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert's Remarks on 2008 Election Integrity

People For is extremely concerned with the fairness of our elections. That's why we are a founding member of the Election Protection coalition. And that's why we're extremely concerned about the Right Wing's diversionary and desperate political attacks on ACORN. This ploy is designed to intimidate voters, cast doubt on the integrity of the elections, and make it harder for certain people to cast a ballot in the November election.

Stories of Super-Activism: Vicki Ryder & the Women of Rochester, NY

A video of the the rally of 300 women superstar activist Vicki Ryder organized in Rochester, NY to say "Sarah Palin Doesn't Speak For Me."

Right Wing Praises McCain's Obedience

In 2000, John McCain solidified his "maverick" reputation by lambasting the Religious Right. He labeled Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell "agents of intolerance" and decried the Right's role within the Republican Party:

"They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country."

"John McCain has been working hard to get back in the good graces of the Right," said People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert. "By choosing Sarah Palin, he's given them exactly what they want — a book banning, anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-science extremist who's short on experience but long on ideology. Americans don't want a candidate who believes that victims of rape and incest should be denied a right to choose abortion. But the far right does. They said jump, and McCain just asked how high."

In return, the right-wing's response has been over the top:

James Dobson, Focus on the Family: "A lot of people were praying, and I believe Sarah Palin is God's answer."

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council: "Senator McCain made an outstanding pick."

Connie Mackey, FRCAction: "I am elated with Senator McCain's choice."

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel: "Absolutely brilliant choice."

Richard Land: "Governor Palin will delight the Republican base."

Rick Scarborough, Vision America, "I'm elated. I think it's a superb choice."

Ralph Reed: "They're beyond ecstatic. This is a home run."

Gary Bauer, American Values: "[A] grand slam home run."

Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: "She is the best possible choice."

Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America: "Governor Palin will change the dynamics of the entire presidential race."

Janice Shaw Crouse, CWA's Beverly LaHaye Institute: "She is an outstanding woman who will be an excellent role model for the nation's young people."

David Barton, Wallbuilders: "The talk won't be about, 'look at Sarah Palin' as much as 'look at what McCain's choice of Palin says about McCain's core beliefs."

Jonathan Falwell: "John McCain made it very clear that his administration was going to be a pro-life administration, and he proved that's his belief and his passion today with the choice of Sarah Palin."

Jerry Falwell, Jr.: "I think it's a brilliant choice."

Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life: "And then when [Palin] was announced — it was like you couldn't breathe. [We] were grabbing each other and jumping up and down."

Gary Marx, Judicial Confirmation Network: "I can tell you that this pick tells millions in the base of the party that they can trust McCain. More specifically that they can trust him with Supreme Court picks and other key appointments."

David Keene, American Conservative Union: "The selection of Governor Palin is great news for conservatives, for the party and for the country. I predict any conservatives who have been lukewarm thus far in their support of the McCain candidacy will work their hearts out between now and November for the McCain-Palin ticket."

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