On Point Live: Lessons For The Country In California's Latino Plurality

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The Latino factor in 2016 and beyond. We’re in California, where Latinos are now the biggest ethnic group in the state.

Tom Ashbrook, Dolores, Jon, Roberto on stage in Santa Barbara, California for a taping of On Point LIVE on January, 22, 2016. (Courtesy Alan Imada)
(Left to Right) On Point host Tom Ashbrook, Dolores Inés Casillas, Jon Christensen and Roberto Suro on stage in Santa Barbara, California for a taping of On Point LIVE on January, 22, 2016. (Courtesy Alan Imada)

New numbers out: 27 million Latinos will be eligible to vote this November. Up a whopping 17 percent since 2012. The catch? Latino voting rates are low and dropping. What’s the net effect of a surging Latino population on politics, economics, culture? We’re asking California.  he biggest state in the Union now has a Latino plurality. Almost 40 percent. This hour On Point in Santa Barbara, California, Latinos, and the American future.
-- Tom Ashbrook


Roberto Suro, director of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute. Professor in the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. Editor of "Writing Immigration" and author of "Strangers Among Us" and "Remembering the American Dream." (@roberto_suro)

Jon Christensen, historian, journalist and author. Editor of Boom: A Journal of California. (@the_wrangler)

Dolores Inés Casillas, associate professor in the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Author of "Sounds of Belonging." (@DInesCasillas)

From Tom’s Reading List

Pew Research Center: Millennials Make Up Almost Half of Latino Eligible Voters in 2016 — "Youth is a bigger defining characteristic of Hispanic eligible voters than for any other group. In 2016, a projected 11.9 million Hispanic millennials will be eligible to vote, fewer in number than the 42.2 million white millennials who are eligible to vote. But millennials make up a larger share of Hispanic eligible voters than they do among white eligible voters."

Los Angeles Times: The Latino vote is bigger and better educated than ever before, a new report finds — "In 1986, 82% of Americans eligible to vote were white. The percentage has declined steadily and hit 70% by 2014. Over the same period, the share of eligible voters who are Latino has risen from 5% to 11.4%."

The Wall Street Journal: How Trump-Style Politics Turned California Into a Blue State — "Nationally, what was once a stronghold state for Republicans became easy pickings for Democrats. Between 1952 and 1988, Republicans won California in nine of 10 presidential elections, but Democrats have won the state in the past six contests. The 1996 Republican presidential candidate, Bob Dole, won only 6% of California’s Hispanic vote, compared with former Gov. Ronald Reagan’s 35% in 1980 and 45% in 1984. Republicans held half of California’s U.S. House seats in 1994. Today they hold 26%, and their U.S. Senate candidates regularly lose."

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This program aired on January 25, 2016.


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