CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) — Democrats agreed to shake up tradition Saturday by wedging Nevada between Iowa's leadoff caucuses and the New Hampshire primary in the 2008 presidential nominating calendar and adding South Carolina soon afterward.
The addition of Nevada's caucuses and the South Carolina primary to a presidential calendar long dominated by Iowa and New Hampshire is intended to give a greater voice to Hispanics and blacks — minorities critical to Democrats' success.
Now what does this have to with immigration?
Well Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina have all experienced exceptionally high rates of increase of their population of illegal immigrants. Specifically Nevada saw that population grow 580% from 1990 to 2004, Iowa 1200% and South Carolina 1000%.
South Carolina in particular is home to a lot of low income blacks of the type polls suggest are exceptionally concerned about the impact of recent immigration on jobs. Nevada is a fast growing state, but a lot of its growth is coming from folks moving from California. Although the intent giving South Carolina and Nevada a bigger voice in the nomination process is to cater to minority interests, I can easily imagine that this change may raise the importance of immigration in the 2008 presidential primaries.