Democrats' Hispanic peril

Key factors, operatives say, include skepticism among Hispanic voters about programs they view as handouts. And many Hispanics are social conservatives, with what L.A. Times columnist Gustavo Arellano has called a “rancho libertarianism streak.”

The national party also needs to do better with messages that distinguish among Americans whose families hailed from Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico or Central America, several Democrats tell me.

Our thought bubble: Latinos, especially Mexican Americans, still lean Democratic. But Democrats have been losing ground among these voters in recent elections because the party hasn’t been paying enough attention to them.

Democrats talk about climate change, but dismiss the fact that many Latinos work in lucrative oilfield jobs in New Mexico and West Texas.