If demographics is destiny, then Republicans may have a major political problem on their hands. Why? Because numbers released by the Census Bureau late last week showed massive growth in the nation’s Hispanic population, a community that Republicans have struggled mightily to reach in recent years.
The numbers are eye-opening. Hispanics now account for more than 16 percent of the total population, making them the largest minority group in the country. More than half of all population growth in the United States over the past decade came from Hispanics.
Perhaps most amazing is that nearly a quarter — 23 percent — of all children age 17 or younger are Latino. That’s a major problem for Republicans, given that in the 2008 presidential election, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) — far from the GOP’s most ardent advocate of stricter immigration laws — won just 31 percent of the Hispanic vote, according to exit polls.