U.S. Capital

Changing Color: In 2016 Elections, the Face of America May Be Decidedly Different

Mar 11, 2015

Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 11, 2015 – The 2014 election was barely over before all thoughts turned to the 2016 election. Many new voting faces, and perhaps a new perspective, will be involved for both parties. The increased presence of voters of color could very visibly change the face of the nation in the next election.

While the recent midterm elections did select many more Republicans than perhaps expected, the party’s success is not necessarily maintainable for the 2016 election. Midterms usually have lower voter turnouts in general, and the racial and cultural demographics of those voters are traditionally different from those who turn out for a major presidential election.

In 2012, the United States saw a particularly pivotal shift in national demographics. Since that time, the number of voters of color has significantly increased — a critical point to consider in terms of winning the presidency or a Congressional seat. “There is no question that presidential candidates need the support of this section of the electorate to realize their dream of becoming the next president of this country,” said Miami immigration attorney Larry Rifkin.

Florida has shown one of the most significant shifts in voter demographics, and the state will likely see a major turnout of “new” voters of color in 2016. Ohio and several other states are expected to see a rapid increase in the Hispanic electorate in particular. Such shifts, some subtle and some dramatic, are well underway. And any politician who chooses to ignore the changing demographic makeup of his or her constituency runs the risk of losing at the polls.

The Republicans’ internal election preparation committees know that if they do not make significant inroads with voters of color, and with Latino voters in particular, winning a national election is going to be extremely difficult. “Why is that observation crucial? Because the Latino vote, and the votes of many other persons of color, have an invested interest in immigration reform. They remember who supported them and who did not,” stated Rifkin.

Right now, the Republicans may be in a very difficult position for a presidential election. Even their own post mortems on the election have issued dire warnings that if “Hispanic Americans hear that the GOP doesn’t want them in the United States, they won’t pay attention to [the GOP’s] next sentence.”

“What happens next is anyone’s guess,” said Rifkin. “But it is certain that the political landscape will be very interesting in 2016. What that may mean for immigration reform is even more uncertain. ”

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