Can GOP Ever Win Latino Vote?

Martin Frost, Politico, February 5, 2012

Now that the Florida primary is well behind, it is important to take a longer look at the battle for the Latino vote in the general election. This growing voting bloc could be the deciding factor if the results prove as close as expected.

This is particularly true in five swing states—Florida, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona. President Barack Obama carried the first four of these in 2008 and is planning a strong push in Arizona this time.

Responding to the GOP base, the Republican Party and its leading presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, may be unable to embrace comprehensive immigration reform and reject harsh right-wing, anti-immigrant rhetoric. So it’s difficult for Romney to make significant headway among this important part of the U.S. electorate. It may well tilt the playing field to Obama—who won two-thirds of the Latino vote in 2008.


Here are several lessons going forward.

First, though Romney captured the Cuban vote in the Florida primary, this doesn’t mean the GOP can win Latino votes this fall. Unlike other Latino voters, Cuban-Americans are reliably Republican.

The vast majority of Latinos in other states, however, are not from Cuba. Many are from Mexico, as well as Central America and Puerto Rico. {snip}

Second, assuming Romney is the Republican nominee, he has a lot of ground to make up with Latinos after being pushed far to the right on the immigration issue during the early primaries and caucuses.

Many Latinos are culturally conservative, patriotic and remarkably entrepreneurial. On paper, this sounds like fertile territory for the GOP. But once Latinos have heard the GOP’s strong anti-immigrant rhetoric, they may well stop listening to anything else Republicans have to say.


Romney, for one, late in the Florida primary took a baby step [toward improving Hispanic relations] on the subject of the DREAM Act. He said he would consider a path to citizenship for young Latino illegal immigrants now living in the U.S., who agree to serve in our military. He will probably have to move even further on this issue to win real support.

Romney will have to move off his hard-line position on immigration reform if he is to make a credible pitch to Latino voters. Building a fence and deporting 11 million people through “self-deportation” is not the answer. He may be considering moving toward Gingrich’s original position on earned legalization. {snip}

The GOP must continue to showcase high-profile Republican officeholders, like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. However, putting people like Rubio on television as a spokesman won’t be enough if the party forces them into an ideological straitjacket on immigration reform.


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  • Can GOP Ever Win Latino Vote?

    No.  Next question?

    Second, assuming Romney is the Republican nominee, he has a lot of
    ground to make up with Latinos after being pushed far to the right on
    the immigration issue during the early primaries and caucuses.

    Speaking as someone already far to the right on the immigration issue, Romney is going to have to be pushed a lot more before he gets to my slice of the forest.  He advocates stapling green cards to non-Americans on student visas who get degrees in certain fields, thereby totally wiping out native born white Americans from CSIT-STEM.  I’m sure he wants more H-xB visas otherwise.

    Many Latinos are culturally conservative, patriotic and remarkably entrepreneurial.

    Don Rickles is calling.  He wants his punchline back.

    Dear Politico:  Are Hispanics the only kind of people that are allowed to vote?

    CNN exit/entrance polling:  14% of Republican Primary voters in Florida were Hispanic, most of those were probably Cuban, only 5% of Republican caucus goers in Nevada were Hispanic, and Nevada is a big Hispanic state.

    • Anonymous

       “CNN exit/entrance polling:  14% of Republican Primary voters in Florida
      were Hispanic, most of those were probably Cuban, only 5% of Republican
      caucus goers in Nevada were Hispanic, and Nevada is a big Hispanic

      Yes, and the ones I saw in the audience were like Marco Rubio – white Hispanics who are all or almost all European.

  • Anonymous

    Just stopping by to say the byline made me chuckle heartily, keep it up!

  • Why Republicans would waste time (and alienating their base in the process) trying appeal to the
    ethnic interests of hispanics escapes me.  Didn’t the GOP already try appeasing hispanics
    with amnesty back in 1986 under Reagan? Didn’t Bush spend the last two years of
    his presidency, campaigning on behalf of illegal invaders and amnesty? John McCain
    was the greatest ally and friend that illegal invading hispanics could ever
    hope to have had representing their interests. Last time I checked he was a so-called

    How many amnesties and olive branches must the GOP extend before hispanics  start to show some gratitude? Quite frankly, the GOP would be better off without hispanics, since as a voting block, they will never vote GOP unless radical changes are adopted within the party.

  • Anonymous

    The fact is this.
    This is a race to the bottom the Republicans can never win.No matter how much Republican politicians pander to ‘hispanics’ (eg the disastrous Reagan amnesty, Bush’s many failed attempts at further amnesty), the Democrats, the party of soft-headed lefties, will always out-pander them.Hispanics know this, they are very acute on this fact, and dsepite the blandishments of certain Republican pols, they don’t really trust the Republicans, they know full well that there is a White nationalist core buried deep in the Republican power structure.
     Thus hispanics in general do’t vote Republican and never will – just like blacks in fact.They know what’s good for them and who their friends are.

    • Well Sir, why should they vote Repub.!?! The Repubs. alienate them, with other people
      of color, gays, women, and most importantly working people. By the way, i’m a  Repub. myself, and am embarrassed by this behavior. Conservatives need to get back to the message of the late William F. Buckley, Jack Kemp, and in today’s world Tony Brown. That’s the only way they’re going to ever come back. Thanks!!

      • When Buckley ran for Mayor of NYC, or when Jack Kemp ran for President, how will did they do among Hispanics?  How well did they do overall? 


      • Anonymous

        I’m “embarrassed” by “Republicans” like you, people who give “friendly” advice intended to further the agenda of the other side.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a reflection of the general lack of cultural confidence among whites that this “debate” even exists. Let’s not make any laws about immigration because it might offend the people who broke immigration laws and others who look like them – that’s essentially what this comes down to.
    Democrats, in their standard operating procedure, see new voters/clients to gain. Republicans, true to form, are terrified as being seen as “mean” in our infantilized culture where nothing is worse.

  • Anonymous

    It’s just a myth spread by the MSM to get Republicans to Hispander.

  • The GOP has NEVER won a majority of the Hispanic vote on a national level in midterms and Congressional elections nor has it ever won a majority of the Hispanic vote on a national level. And as in never I mean not once, not even within the past 60 years, I mean NEVER.

    Here is the Hispanic percentage of the vote in the past 3 presidential elections
    2000: 67 Percent Democrat
    2004: 55 Percent Democrat. George W Bush pandered monumentally for 4 years and did not achieve a majority of the Hispanic vote.
    2008: 67 percent again.
    Blood is thicker than water. When given the choice between voting for a White man who was a staunch supporter of amnesty and path-to-citizenship, chain migration and the DREAM act or a Black, Brown chose Black.

    John McCain might as well be Mexican for how pro-illegal he is and he got outvoted 2-1! A political party that runs McCain and gets outvoted 2-1 should just throw in the towel on ever getting the Hispanic vote, it is hopeless.

    • Back out Texas’s and Florida’s Hispanics, and Bush’s Hispanic numbers in 2000 and 2004 would have been even worse.

      • Anonymous

        QD, how much longer do you think before Texas goes Democrat?  After that, Republicans are done nationally for good.

        • Some time between 1988 and 1992, it became impossible for Republicans to win California in the EC.  That’s proof that it can happen quickly.  What might “save” Texas for awhile is that Texas’s whites are far more likely to be closer to monolithic as compared to California’s whites.  I think definitely by 2030, though, probably earlier.

  • Anonymous

    The answer to the question of the article’s title is NO. The GOP’s pandering to Hispanics is futile. Hispanics love big government and any attempt to make government smaller is considered racist. Besides, they see the Republican party as the White Party. But we all know that this is not true.

  • To Everyone:
     As i mentioned earlier, because of  these attitudes that are expressed here will be the reason
    the Repubs. will go down big time this year. People, such as the Tea partiers, have embraced the
    views upheld here which is heavily damaging the Repub. party. As a result, 80% of hispanics and 95% of blacks will support Obama. This will lead to an easy re-election. The Repubs. and conservatives are doomed  to  fail big time. A good book to google  is ” The future democratic
    majorities”. I suggest you all read this to see what will happen if you continue these views you’ll
    hold. Thanks.
    P.S. To Question Diversity, the reason why Bill Buckley didn’t win the NYC mayor’s race because
    he didn’t reach out enough to all the people of that city, if he would of , then he could of been
    the mayor of that city. Next to the subject of the late Jack Kemp. Jack Kemp was, actually, doing quite well in the Repub. presidential race of 1988. He was on the verge of getting hispanic and huge black support. Heck , Jack Kemp could of gotten as much as 50% of the black vote if given the chance. What happen was the Repub. establishment suppressed his campaign and didn’t give him a chance. That’s because he had the audacity to tell blacks with hispanics ” It’s time to come
    back home.”  Truly read the writings of both the late William Buckley and Jack Kemp. It will really open your eyes. Farewell for now.

    • Jack Kemp’s average primary vote was 5%.  Talk about a winning strategy. 

      People, such as the Tea partiers, have embraced the
      views upheld here
      which is heavily damaging the Repub. party. As a result, 80% of
      hispanics and 95% of blacks will support Obama.

      Almost 100% of blacks and around 75-80% of non-Cuban Hispanics will vote Democrat no matter what.

    • Anonymous

      Kemp was a creep.  Speeded up HUD’s destruction of neighborhoods.  He talked constantly about enterprise zones, a fancy name for more taxpayer money to black neighborhoods.

    • Anonymous

      Look at the Reagan amnesty Bush’s many, many attempts at foisting ‘amnesties’ on the American people.
      Basically, on the issues of ‘race’ and immigration there is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats.Both are unrepentent immigrationists.
        I couldn’t give a damn if the Republican Party crashed and burned and died forever.
      They deserve to die – they killed White America (you will be majority non-White a few decades from now), by not coming down hard on immigration.
       Dwight Eisenhower, now there was a man.’Operation Wetback’ tells us that the Republicans did have brains and guts at one point in their history.

      •   To Kenelm Digby:
         In some ways, you’re Right about President Eisenhower. You see under his administration, school desegration took place in 1954. Then in 1957, he sent
        troops to Little Rock, Ark. to protect the students at Central High. Therefore,
        i must agree, Eisenhower did have “guts”. Good bye for now!!

        • Anonymous

          That’s an entirely different point – and nothing to do with the case in hand.

  • Anonymous

    Immigrant psychology ensures that they generally don’t support traditionalist, flag waving, patriotic, centre-right conservative parties; and centre-right conservative psychology generally ensures that they dont pander to minorities – what with all this talk of integration and learning our history etc. Minorities vote Left, for reasons of psychology and because the Left panders to them – including inducements such as welfare, paid for by the majority.

    Looks like your Grand Old Party is making the same mistake as our Tory Party, who worked hard at trying to win the minority vote in 2010 – and failed miserably, as they always do. I suspect that many of your Republicans and our Conservatives know that they could win a landslide election by appealing to US, the majority. Too cowardly, though.  

  • Hey Anon:
     The same to you, now see ya and i don’t want to be ya!!

  • Periapsis

    The Republicans pandering to Hispanics will further alienate whites, and cut off their own nose to spite their faces in so doing. In other words, they will destroy themselves as a party, and sooner or later the abandonment of working and middle class whites on the part of both parties will result in the emergence of an unapologetically pro-white party and political movement the government controlled media will no longer be able to hide from the public. The Chinese malediction, “May you live in interesting times,” will apply to what comes next.