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Beyond the Barrio

Latinos in the 2004 Elections

Edited by Rodolfo O. de la Garza, Louis DeSipio, and David L. Leal

Publication Year: 2010

Beyond the Barrio: Latinos in the 2004 Elections analyzes the mobilization of Latino voters at the state and national levels during the 2004 campaign and the efforts of Latino communities to influence electoral outcomes. The volume is the most recent installment in the quadrennial analyses of Latinos and national elections begun in 1988 by Rodolfo de la Garza and Louis DeSipio. This ongoing project is the only scholarly effort to track the emergence of Latino influence in U.S. politics over the last two decades. The volume examines how and when Latinos were the focus of candidate/campaign mobilization, how Latinos themselves organized to influence electoral outcomes, and where and under what circumstances they succeeded. In addition to state-level analyses, Beyond the Barrio presents an analytical overview of the national presidential campaign that includes measures of Latino influence and a review of state and local contests that led to the election of Latino officials. It also extends the analysis to states with small Latino populations that are just beginning to organize. The editors consider 2004 as a "signpost" election, in which both major parties began a transition from symbolic gestures toward Latino voters to more serious, issue-related efforts to court the Latino vote. The expertise of the contributors ensures that Beyond the Barrio avoids simple generalizations about the "Latino vote" and illustrates its complexity, as well as the opportunities and challenges faced by Latino voters and Latino leaders.

Published by: University of Notre Dame Press

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Front Matter

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pp. vii

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pp. ix

This volume and its predecessors would not have been possible without the willingness of many scholars to participate and off er the unique vantage points of their states. Thanks especially to those who also participated in the original 1988 volume: Luis Fraga, Dario Moreno, and Christine Sierra. ...

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1. Introduction. A View from the Battleground’s Periphery: Latinos and the 2004 Elections

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pp. 1-72

Since 1988 the first two editors of this volume have coordinated collaborative analyses of the influence of the Hispanic population on national and state politics in the United States.1 More than fifty scholars have contributed to these quadrennial analyses of Latino efforts to shape federal- and state-level politics and political institutions’ efforts to bring ...

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2. Hispanic Voting in the American States: The Case of 2004

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pp. 73-96

Hispanic political influence across the United States is diverse (de la Garza and DeSipio 2005). Some states contain large concentrations of Hispanics; others do not. Moreover, Hispanic Americans themselves are ethnically and politically diverse: recent arrivals come from Mexico, the Caribbean, and, increasingly, Central and South America. Whereas ...

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3. Hispanic Politics in a Battleground State: New Mexico in 2004

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pp. 97-130

Early in the 2004 presidential campaign, New Mexico, a small state of about 1.9 million people with only five Electoral College votes, appeared primed to receive national attention from the candidates, the political parties, and the media. In the 2000 presidential election, Democrat Al Gore won the state over George W. Bush by only 366 ...

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4. Emerging Pattern or Unique Event? The Power of the Nonracial Campaign in Colorado

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pp. 131-158

In the end, it came down to two brothers from Colorado’s San Luis Valley. After all the talk of a tight presidential race, the power of the first time voters, 527 groups, Amendment 36, voter intimidation, and voter fraud, the story of the 2004 election in Colorado concerned two Latino farmers earning historic victories on Election Day. Ken Salazar ...

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5. Battleground Voters in a Battleground State? Latinos in Arizona and the 2004 Presidential Election

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pp. 159-170

In 2004 there was considerable optimism going into the campaign that Arizona might become one of the swing states that both political parties would target. To that end, the possibility was very real that the candidates might target Latino voters during the campaign. Coupled with a controversial statewide proposition known as the Arizona Taxpayer ...

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6. A Candle in the Wind? Latinos and the 2004 Elections in Texas

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pp. 171-200

The 2004 elections seem to have been a mix of contradictions for Texas Hispanics.1 Despite the enormous presence of Hispanics in the state, and therefore the potential for ethnic bloc voting and strong Latino leadership, Tejanos (Texas Latinos) did not play a major role. This is because party leaders concluded very early on in the presidential campaigns ...

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7. Why California Matters: How California Latinos Influence Presidential Elections

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pp. 201-220

As was the case in 2000, California was a safe Democratic state in 2004. Although California provides 55, or just over 20 percent, of the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the White House, neither George W. Bush nor John Kerry spent much money in the state. In the most expensive presidential election in the nation’s history, in which ...

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8. New York in 2004: Political Blues for Hispanics

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pp. 221-250

As in previous presidential elections, in 2004 Latinos were the focus of considerable early national media attention. The “Latino vote” was variously characterized as “potent” and “pivotal,” and some considered Latinos “swing voters.” As late as mid-October 2004, a CNN headline read, “Hispanics Could Hold Key to a Win” (CNN 2004). Also as in ...

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9. The Hispanic Vote in Florida

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pp. 251-270

Florida’s twenty-seven Electoral College votes and the state’s status as a pivotal swing state ensure its continued importance in national politics. The 2000 presidential election, despite all the irregularities and mistakes, was Florida’s coming-out party as a critical player in American presidential politics. This role was repeated in the 2004 election, as ...

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10. Illinois Latinos in the 2004 Election: The Waiting Game Continues

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pp. 271-292

Latino political influence in Chicago has been steadily climbing since the historic election of Harold Washington as mayor in 1983 and 1987. With the support of more than three-fourths of Latino voters, these elections set the foundation for a new era of Latino participation in electoral politics and a new form of independent politics. More important, ...

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11. El Estado del Jard

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pp. 293-312

Due in large part to its proximity to the major metropolitan centers of the Northeast, New Jersey has become a more diverse state in recent years. According to the 1990 U.S. Census, Hispanics made up approximately 10 percent of the state’s population. By 2000 this number had increased to 13 percent. New Jersey’s Latinos themselves are a diverse ...

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12. Hearing Footsteps: Latino Population Growth and Anticipated Political Eff ects in the “New Destination” States

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pp. 313-332

In this chapter we examine the current and potential influence of emerging Latino population concentrations in eight states: Arkansas, Georgia, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Iowa, Washington, and Wisconsin. We use a two-prong standard for judging the importance of the Latino electorate. The first is whether the Latino electorate could ...

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13. Conclusion. The 2004 Election: More of the Same or a New Foundation?

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pp. 333-342

Was 2004 different from other presidential election years in terms of Latino influence on the outcome in particular and campaign dynamics in general? That is, did Latinos move away from their traditional irrelevance at both the state and national levels, as has been the case, with notable exceptions, since 1964? In addition, were there developments ...


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pp. 343-352


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pp. 353-366

E-ISBN-13: 9780268077693
E-ISBN-10: 026807769X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780268025991
Print-ISBN-10: 0268025991

Page Count: 368
Illustrations: Figs./tables removed; no rights.
Publication Year: 2010

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • United States -- Politics and government -- 2001-2009.
  • Hispanic Americans -- Politics and government -- 21st century.
  • Elections -- United States.
  • United States. Congress -- Elections, 2004.
  • Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 2004.
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