When San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro keynoted the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, he was already dubbed “the Latino Obama” by Democrats and the mainstream media for the same reason they last week at the RNC ignored New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who is a higher-ranking Republican of Mexican descent: they realize how Hispanics' (and more specifically, voters of Mexican descent) vote will determine elections for a generation.
If Hispanics vote for Democrats at the same rate as blacks currently do, Republicans could permanently be a minority party on the national stage.
Fully aware of this potential reality, the mainstream media often plays up issues that make Republicans look bad to Hispanics and ignores Republicans of Hispanic -- and Mexican -- descent like Martinez, who can give Hispanic Democrats a reason to rethink their political allegiances.
Though Democrats often speak endlessly of diversity, Castro, along with DNC chair and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, is one of the few Democrats of Mexican descent the party has featured.
The Hispanic vote will be critical in swing states such as Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, and even Iowa. But in every state other than Florida and Virginia, Mexicans make up an overwhelming majority of the Hispanic population, making politicians like Castro and Martinez even more important than politicians of Cuban, Puerto Rican or South American descent.
The mainstream media is obsessed with race, gender, and historical firsts, but only when it concerns Democrats. At the Republican National Convention, mainstream broadcast and cable news channels ignored or did not fully air the primetime address by the nation’s first Latina governor.
“A Mexican-American raised in the American Southwest, Martinez’s biography fits the majority of the Latino community in the United States,” the left-leaning Univision wrote. “And she was able to tell her personal story with a sense of familiarity that few other in the Republican Party can.”
Univision also noted that Martinez “provides a model of how Republicans should speak to Latino voters if they want to make inroads in the community.”
In her speech last week, Martinez discussed how her family grew up “on the border and truly lived paycheck to paycheck.” She talked about how her dad “was a golden gloves boxer in the Marine Corps,” and her “mom worked as an office assistant” before they decided to to start a security guard business, despite having “literally... no savings.”
“So, my dad worked to grow the business,” Martinez said. “My mom did the books at night. And at 18, I guarded the parking lot at the Catholic church bingos.”
She told the story about how she stood up against her boss and then ran against him and beat him by a landslide to become a district attorney. And she recalled humorously that the first gun she owned weighed more than she did.
The most important part of her story, though, was about how she went from being a Democrat to a Republican.
Martinez said two Republicans invited her husband and her to lunch, and she “knew a party switch was exactly what they wanted.”
“So, I told Chuck, ‘We'll be polite, enjoy a free lunch, and then say good-bye,’” Martinez said. “And when we left that lunch, we got in the car, and I looked over at Chuck and said, ‘I'll be damned. we're Republicans.’”
Martinez also said that “as the first Hispanic female governor in the history, little girls often come up to me in the grocery store or in the mall,” and “they look and they point” at her and ask, “Are you Susana?”
“It is in moments like these when I'm reminded that we each pave for a path, and for me, it is about paving a path for those little girls to follow,” Martinez concluded. “They need to know no more barriers.”
Except too often, the mainstream media serves as the barrier for the girls in Martinez's story who may consider becoming Republicans by deliberately depriving them of potential Republican role models who happen to be of Mexican descent -- like the governor herself.
Democrats think if Hispanics continue to vote for their candidates, even red states Arizona and Texas could in the future become swing states or even states that lean blue, and that is why voters of Mexican descent are critical to them.
According to Pew Hispanic Research, nearly 65% of the country’s Hispanic population is of Mexican descent. These numbers are more staggering in the country’s most crucial swing states, and recent polls have shown Obama receiving the support of nearly 70% of the Hispanic vote.
In Colorado, Hispanics are 21% of the population, and those of Mexican descent make up 77% of Hispanics.
In Iowa, Hispanics are five percent of the population, and those of Mexican descent make up 80% of the state’s Hispanic population.
In North Carolina, Hispanics make up eight percent of the population, and those of Mexican descent are 61% of the state’s Hispanic population.
In Arizona, Hispanics are 30% the population, and those of Mexican descent make up nearly 90% of the state’s Hispanic population.
In California and Texas, Hispanics are nearly 40% of the population, and those of Mexican descent make up 84% and 88%, respectively, of the Hispanic population in those states.
In New Mexico, Hispanics make up 50% of the state’s population, and those of Mexican descent make up 61% of the state’s Hispanic population.
Univision wrote that “Martinez’s tale is familiar to Latinos,” because “most Latinos identify as Democrats and they traditionally support Democratic candidates.”
“Although her journey from left to right is familiar to those who have heard her speak before (it happened after a lunch with two GOPers), it provided a compelling narrative to a national TV audience, including Latinos, watching her for the first time,” Univision wrote.
However, Latinos who wanted to watch Martinez likely had to find her speech online because it was not aired on television networks.
The mainstream media put its hype machine in overdrive leading up to and after Castro's speech. But their ignoring of Martinez's shows their biases through omission as much as through distortion and promotion.