TNR’s Jack Fitzpatrick looks at the midterms and concludes that the Democrats have a problem keeping Latino voters. The first race he looks at is Jim Costa’s surprising loss in California:
Costa nearly fell victim to a radically different midterm electorate. The total number of ballots cast in the race dropped 40 percent from 2012 to 2014, according to data compiled by Dave Wasserman of The Cook Political Report.
Costa’s story is a microcosm of the turnout problem that plagued Democrats up and down the 2014 ticket, but it’s particularly troubling for the party because Costa’s district is among the most heavily Latino in the country.
Turnout also plunged in other heavily Latino districts, such as the one where Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney narrowly won reelection in a California district Obama won by 18 points in 2012. There, turnout was down nearly 47 percent between 2012 and 2014. In the state’s 31st District, Rep.-elect Pete Aguilar, who was the heavy favorite in his race, won by just over 3,000 votes after a 52 percent drop-off of voters from 2012 to 2014. And Rep. Lois Capps, whose district Obama won by 11 points in 2012, won by fewer than 8,000 votes after a 32 percent drop-off.
I’d amend my introduction to say that Barack Obama is losing Latino voters, who were never as strongly Democratic as his lopsided wins in ’08 and ’12 might have seemed to indicate.
But a wave midterm doesn’t hold much meaning for 2016, especially since the Democrats seem increasingly likely to go with yet another rock star candidate in the next cycle.
Their biggest trouble might be in attracting that next rock star, given the paucity (and agedness) of their current bench.
Any guesses or predictions?