Weeks before the Nov. 6 election, President Obama began to realize his only chance for victory: Awaken the so-called sleeping giant of American politics, the approximately 50.5 million Latinos or Spanish-speaking U.S. residents, 26 million of whom are eligible to vote.
“If I win,” he said in late October, “it will be because of Latinos.”
Obama and his private pollsters, then, may have had a clue that something was happening among Hispanic voters, those whose ethnic roots lie in Mexico, Central and South America, as well as Spain and Portugal.
Something important was indeed occurring. So now there’s the possibility the same effect that turned California from a generally Republican state to a reliably Democratic one in presidential politics may spread elsewhere. This state changed from mostly red, in television parlance, to almost exclusively blue after the anti-illegal immigrant 1994 Proposition 187 passed handily, threatening millions with loss of public schooling, emergency room care and other services...