Although turnout numbers in Texas will show there were increases in turnout in a few Rio Grande Valley counties, the vast majority of Latino-heavy areas were weak. What ever you blame it on, and I like what Bob Moser had to say about this, it is safe to say that Latinos remain solidly Democrat.
A poll sponsored NCLR, SEIU, and and America’s Voice found that 80% of Texas Latinos voted for Bill White, while only 19% voted for Rick Perry. In Nevada, Harry Reid earned 90% of the Latino vote. In California, Gov.-Elect Brown and Senator Boxer each earned 86%.
Of course the Republicans in attempting to show their “colored-folk”-friendly side, point to the elections of a Latina in New Mexico as Governor and Rubio in Florida. Cuban-Americans who are historically Republican voted solidly for Rubio (78%); however, non-Cuban Latinos (a demographic which is rapidly growing in FLA) only gave Rubio 40%. As a whole, Latinos voted 62% for Rubio, but there was an obvious split when they decided 51-48 for Republican Scott in the Gubernatorial race.
The Tea-Baggin’ Republatina in New Mexico only received 38%, more than likely because of the name. My guess is if Denish had run in defense of Latinos (a la Reid), the Teabagger would have been outed as an anti-immigrant nut not worthy of Latino support. (Update: In Nevada, Latinos gave Harry Reid’s kid 86% of their vote, staying away from the Republatino who said he didn’t worry about his kids getting profiled because they “didn’t look Hispanic.”)
Ultimately, Latinos mattered in many of these races; unfortunately, the enthusiasm gap was tough to overcome in Texas. Again, it would seem like Democrats have much to accomplish in adding to Latino turn-out. As I specified in an earlier post, the 2011 Texas Legislative Session will be an attack on Latinos. How Democrats respond will matter to Latinos because it is obvious that the Republicans are solidly anti-Latino.