Reid Wilson: “The electorate that turned out in November to give President Obama a second term is nearly as diverse as the U.S. population at large, according to new data released by the Census Bureau this week. But the nation's fastest-growing minority group isn't experiencing the kind of explosive growth of political power that other ethnic groups have felt. And that means Democrats could be leaving millions of votes on the table. Less than half of all eligible Hispanics turned out to vote in 2012, according to the data. Hispanic voters in swing states were more likely to show up at the polls, but the slow pace of growth as a portion of the overall electorate shows Hispanics have yet to flex their political muscle.”
As First Read has pointed out, Hispanics made up 10% of the electorate but are 17% of the overall population.
Politico on Rand Paul in Iowa today: “For all Paul’s success as a media brand and a mobilizer of the conservative grassroots, the Kentucky senator has done relatively little since 2010 to assemble a political machine around his own personality. For now, the Rand Paul project is a high-wire act that works largely without a net.”
The Hill: “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) blasted progressive principles as ‘arrogant and condescending’ Wednesday night in a speech outlining his vision on how to sell modern-day conservatism to voters.”
NEW JERSEY: In an interview to air tonight on Rock Center, NBC’s Brian Williams interviews Chris Christie who calls himself a “damn good Republican.” But he said he would put his state and country before his party.
Said Christie: I’ll worry about the presidency if and when I ever decide to run for it. But if you’re saying to me, ‘How do I feel as a Republican?’ I’m a damn good Republican and a good conservative Republican who believes in the things that I believe in. … But that does not mean that I would ever put party before my state or party before my country.”
The Star Ledger: “Gov. Chris Christie today vetoed a bill that would allow early voting at polling places, prompting Democrats to brand it a politically motivated effort to suppress the vote months after Hurricane Sandy exposed vulnerabilities in the state elections system.”
Said Christie: "I support responsible and cost-efficient election reform that increases voter participation because democracy works best when the most people vote. But this bill risks the integrity and orderly administration of our elections by introducing a new voting method and process."
Said State Sen. Nia Gill (D), sponsor of the bill: "The governor now joins other Republican governors who have sought to stifle the vote and limit access to the polls. Once again he is catering to his national base at the expense of New Jersey residents."
VIRGINIA: Beth Reinhard writes on how Terry McAuliffe (D) is having a hard time defining himself in the governor’s race. She notes that not being Ken Cuccinelli (R) may not be enough for McAuliffe to win.
Charlie Cook says forget Mark Sanford, forget Chris Christie and New Jersey, the race to likely have the most political significance is the Virginia governor’s race: “So Virginia has a race that might be illuminating. It is a swing state where moderate and independent voters will have to choose sides; the national political environment may well be a factor in driving them one way or the other. Indeed, the swoon of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds four years ago coincided remarkably closely with the drop in President Obama’s numbers, both in the state and nationally. The race hinted at what was to come the next year when Republicans scored near-biblical gains in the House and a six-seat gain in the Senate. So although the South Carolina special election had some entertainment value, if you want to look for a potential clue about 2014, you’ll have better luck watching Virginia.”