My colleague John McCormick writes today about how the surging Hispanic population may shape Republican thinking on policy issues including a rewrite of immigration laws, following a poor election year for the party among that voting bloc.
Hispanics account for at least one-fourth of the population in 91 of the 435 congressional districts, according to 2011 Census Bureau estimates compiled by Bloomberg’s Frank Bass. Of those 91 districts, 65 are held by Democrats and 26 by Republicans.
These are the 10 most heavily Hispanic congressional districts that are represented by Republicans, according to the estimates:
— Florida’s 27th (73%): Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the most senior Republican woman in the House, represents part of Miami-Dade County, where a majority of Hispanics are of Cuban descent.
— California’s 21st (72%): David Valadao, a freshman, represents Hanford, Delano and part of Bakersfield in the San Joaquin Valley. President Barack Obama won 55 percent of the district vote in 2012, when Valadao faced weak Democratic opposition.
— Florida’s 25th (70%): Mario Diaz-Balart represents parts of four counties in southern Florida, including Miami-Dade.
— New Mexico’s 2nd (52%): Steve Pearce’s district touches Arizona, Texas and Mexico, taking in Las Cruces and Roswell.
— Texas’ 27th (51%): Blake Farenthold, an upset winner in 2010 in a southern Texas district that was about three-fourths Hispanics, won easily after a redrawing of lines shifted some Democratic-leaning Hispanics out of his constituency. Farenthold represents Corpus Christi.
— California’s 31st (49%): Gary Miller will be targeted for defeat by Democrats in a district that takes in San Bernardino and Rancho Cucamonga and backed Obama with 57 percent of the vote.
— California’s 22nd (46%): Devin Nunes represents part of the San Joaquin Valley, including Visalia, Clovis and part of Fresno.
— California’s 10th (40%): Jeff Denham’s district takes in Modesto and Tracy. He was re-elected in 2012 with 53 percent of the vote in a district that Obama won, so Democrats probably will target him in 2014.
— California’s 25th (38%): Buck McKeon, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has a southern California constituency that includes Santa Clarita and Palmdale.
— Washington’s 4th (37%): Doc Hastings, who leads the Natural Resources Committee, has a district that takes in Yakima as well as majority-Hispanic Franklin County in and around Pasco.