6 Responses

  1. OK, I decided to wade into the local press to see what was said and not said. The item that sparked my interest was that regarding Santorum’s statements about whether PR could become or not a Spanish speaking state. As you can guess, in a fairly nationalistic environment like our own (after all, we have been under US tutelage for over 100 years and any stateside visitor can testify to the fact that, aside from the US-like infrastructure, we have scarcely “converted” to the anglophone US culture; we remain as Hispanic as any of our Latin American neighbors!), statements like those of Santorum can and will be spun to anything our local politicians feel will be to their advantage. This quote struck me from the San Juan Daily Sun: “I never said only English should be spoken here. Never did I even intimate that,” Santorum told local reporters gathered in El Capitolio, the island’s Capitol building. “What I said was that English had to be spoken as well as other — obviously Spanish is going to be spoken, this would be a bilingual country.”

    A bilingual COUNTRY? [as opposed to a state?] Was that a Freudian slip? Let me assure you that the meaning of that particular word, whether intentional or a mistake or whatever, wouldn’t be lost on our local statehooders, the majority of whom seem to be Republican. No wonder they flocked around Romney instead of Santorum.

    In general, I never visualized a genuine Republican backing for statehood. The main reason is that a majority our population tends to support the Democrats. Anybody who knows the history of Puerto Rico, its industrialization process, and has read my late father’s essential book, among others, knows that we are very much a “child of the New Deal”. A Republican Party that wants to undo the New Deal will not make much headway among thinking Puerto Ricans.

  2. There maybe an division with the Hispanic vote. The Mexican vote does not seem to be going for Romney. One wonders if the Cayman Islands would vote for Romney.

    D. Matthews, thank you for the book reference. It looks like a good read.

  3. It might be worth disaggregating “Latinos”. Puerto Ricans ≠ Mexicans ≠ Cubans ≠ Salvadorans, etc. Statehood obviously played large in this particular race, which will not impact the general election in any meaningful way. Republicans tend to do moderately poorly with the Mexican-American vote, which is the largest block of Latinos, but the Cuban-American vote leans Republican. A winning strategy for both parties depends upon electoral votes, baseline demographic support and the marginal gains from adding a proportion of a particular demographic to one’s coalition, at the potential alienation of others.

    • Couldn’t some candidate try just to be the better leader/person rather than pandering to the narrow interests of various ethnic groups?

    • I’ve heard that in 2000 Gore actually managed a dead heat with Bush with the Cuban vote. I know that the younger generations are going more Democratic, but that’s true of every ethnic group in America. The problem is getting them to the polls.

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