2. Hispanics are not secure. I’ve pointed out before that “emerging Democratic majority” theorists (like Teixeira) make a category error when they talk about Democratic strength among “non-white” voters. There are important differences within this overly-broad category.

African Americans are loyally Democratic, in that they back the party in roughly the same numbers through thick and thin. “Non-white” voters who are not African American – e.g. Asians and Hispanics – do not behave in this manner. They are, rather, swing groups that have a Democratic tilt. In other words, the Democratic share of this group goes up and down, depending on the party’s overall position in the country…

As we can see, in good GOP years (e.g. 1988) or neutral years (e.g. 2000 and 2004), Republicans can win up to two-fifths of this bloc, while in bad years (e.g. 1992 and 2008) it struggles even to get to a third.

As 2012 is shaping up to be, at best, a neutral year, Democrats shouldn’t bank on doing as well with these voters as they did in 2008. In fact, Obama’s standing with Hispanics is quite tenuous at the moment, as the Gallup poll indicates: