Burt, Kenneth

George McGovern Changed the Democratic Party

By Kenneth Burt

The passing of George McGovern, who upset the political establishment by winning the 1972 California Democratic primary, provides a unique opportunity to reflect on a history professor turned elected official who fundamentally changed the presidential selection process and realigned the modern Democratic Party.

The young McGovern flew multiple bombing missions in World War II as part of the fight against fascism. As part of the effort to create a better world, he directed the Food for Peace program in the Kennedy administration and shaped the modern food stamp program that has assisted farmers and low-income Americans.

Obama, Romney and the Latino Vote

By Kenneth Burt

California and Texas have the largest Latino communities, but Spanish-speaking voters are likely to have the greatest impact in states having either a relatively small Spanish-speaking population or where the ethnic composition is in flux.

Latinos are positioned to play a major role in three Southern states - Virginia and North Carolina, where the Hispanic population is relatively new, and Florida - once dominated by conservative Cuban Americans - where there has been dramatic growth in the Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Central American populations.