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American Voters Get More Diverse

According to new Census Bureau data, American voters are getting far more diverse, Ronald Brownstein reports in a new National Journal cover story--and not just in urban congressional districts, but in traditionally white, suburban districts as well. Brownstein finds:

A National Journal analysis of new Census Bureau data has found that 205 members in the House--almost half of the chamber--represent districts in which minorities constitute at least 30 percent of the population. That's nearly double the one-fourth of members who hailed from districts that diverse during the 1990s. This pervasive diversity is literally changing the House's complexion, opening fresh fault lines both between and within the parties, and adding twists to their legislative and political competition.

And Cameron Joseph notes the growing prominence of Hispanic voters in districts represented by black lawmakers: "Of the 39 black Democrats in the House, eight represent districts where Hispanics now outnumber African-Americans, including six where Latinos make up more than 40 percent of the district's population..."

For both parties, this means connecting with more minority voters. In the short term, it means a new and different constituency as Democrats make a push in 2010 to pass immigration reform.