February was a very good month for Spanish-language TV network Univision, which claimed fourth place in an in-season ratings sweep for the first time ever. Of course a lot of this has to do with the weakness of fifth place NBC, but the very fact that a Spanish-language network is even in a position to break into the top four says an awful lot about our shifting American demographics.
This is the same demographic shift that should have Republicans pooping their pants over their prospects in states where the rapidly growing Latino electorate threatens to swamp the stagnant old-white-guy GOP base. For example, states like Texas, where the 900,000 additional Latinos expected to enter the electorate by 2016 would overwhelm the 185,000 anticipated new white voters.
According to Nate Silver, this demographic shift alone is unlikely to be enough to put Texas and its 38 electoral votes in play by 2016, but it could help solidify the Democrats' advantage in a number of crucial swing states. And taking states like Florida, Nevada, and Colorado out of play would have a huge impact on the two parties' electoral strategies.
No wonder some Republicans now appear willing to cave on immigration reform.