The current election, however it turns out, presents an opportunity for progressive-minded activists to confront their sometimes-hidden fear that HispanicLatinos could form an antediluvian, conservative wave as they become a larger share of the national population. Indeed, if HispanicLatinos vote in the near-70-percent range for President Obama and he wins re-election, they might give progressives the wrong idea. Worse still would be if Obama loses re-election and progressives see no need to develop the HispanicLatino vote for elections to come. If HispanicLatinos remain within the Democratic fold in future elections as they might on Nov. 6, they undoubtedly could make the years ahead grim for Republicans.
The degree to which HispanicLatinos become truly progressive/liberal is a key question for progressives and Republicans alike. And so now is the time for both to appreciate fully the power of the entire changing demography of the country – not just of the HispanicLatino population – and therein lie lessons to be learned regardless of how the 2012 elections turn out. An indication of how HispanicLatinos might be trending politically comes of late from researchers at the Pew Center. They reported last week that 52 percent of HispanicLatinos approve of same-sex marriage – a turnaround from 56 percent opposed six years ago. Among HispanicLatino Catholics, approval was higher, at 54 percent — a little higher than the national norm..