The GOP Shouldn’t Count on Tapping Latent Latino Conservatism

Charles Murray, AEI, November 20, 2012

In the flood of instant analysis of the GOP’s ethnic plight following the election, it has been argued that the GOP should be able get a lot higher percentage of the Latino vote. Latinos would be natural converts to a more welcoming Republican Party, because they have strong families, a great work ethic, are more religious than most Americans, and are conservative on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage.


I’ll start with the General Social Survey (GSS), the most widely used database for monitoring social trends. All the results that follow are based on the biennial GSS surveys conducted from 2000 to 2010.

Latinos aren’t married more than everyone else. Among Latinos ages 30—49, 52 percent are married. Everyone else: 54 percent.

Latinos aren’t more religious than everyone else. Among Latinos, 29 percent attend worship services regularly (nearly once a week or more). Everyone else: 31 percent. Among Latinos, 18 percent not only attend regularly but also say they have a strong affiliation with their religion. Everyone else: 24 percent.

Latinos aren’t more opposed to gay marriage than everyone else. Among Latinos, 44 percent disagree or strongly disagree with the statement that “homosexuals should have the right do marry.” Everyone else: 50 percent.

Latinos are a little more opposed to abortion than everyone else, but not by a landslide. Among Latinos, 12 percent are opposed to abortion under all circumstances. Everyone else: 9 percent.  Among Latinos, 21 percent are opposed to all abortion unless the mother’s health is seriously endangered. Everyone else: 14 percent.

Latinos aren’t more conservative than everyone else. Among Latinos, 14 percent describe themselves as “conservative” or “extremely conservative.” Everyone else: 20 percent.

What about the Latino work ethic? For indicators on that, I turn from the GSS to the Current Population Survey (CPS). I restrict the results to the surveys from 2000—2008, before the financial meltdown—that is, we’re looking at work behavior in years in the normal range of unemployment.

Latino men are only fractionally more likely to be in the labor force than everyone else, and those with jobs work slightly fewer hours. Among Latino men ages 30—49, 92 percent were in the labor force. All other men ages 30—49:  91 percent. Among men ages 30—49 who had jobs, Latinos worked an average of 42 hours in the preceding week. All other men ages 30—49: 44 hours.

Latino women are substantially less likely to be in the labor force than everyone else.  Among Latino women ages 30—49, 68 percent were in the labor force. All other women ages 30—49:  78 percent. Among those with jobs, hours-worked in the preceding week were virtually identical: 37.3 for Latino women, 37.5 for everyone else.


The data I used for the numbers above come from the most trustworthy, carefully conducted surveys available. They paint a portrait that gives no reason to think that Republicans have an untapped pool of social conservatives to help them win elections.

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  • Search engine: “Latent Latino conservatism.”

    Got a 404.

  • Stentorian_Commentator

    I don’t think Murray is deep down conservative in any way, but honesty makes you look like a paleoconservative these days.

  • razorrare

    Hispanic border invaders are liberal,not conservative…the truly hispanic conservatives are to be found only in Mexico who are fighting to make Mexico a better place to live,like that “fearless female mexican mayor”…

    • Liberalsuck

      The only ‘conservative’ thing I could see with blacks or Latinos is that they don’t approve of gay marriage as much as whites do. Still, their neighborhoods and countries are full of crime, poverty, diseases, etc.

      • The__Bobster

        They aren’t even conservative on the poofter marriage thing.

        This [“natural Republicans”] claim is demonstrably false. In 2012 Hispanics solidly support the Democrats on virtually every issue, not only on illegal immigration. This includes taxes, the size of government, health care. Less known is that increasingly liberal Hispanics now support Democrats on abortion, gay marriage and contraception.

        • Joseph Usario

          Even the Catholics are apparently willing en masse to discard all principle to vote for Dem’s because they “support the unions” (I guess?) They will look the other way on every issue expressly denounced in the Bible and by the Church which they *claim* to revere as the word of God and traditions of the Church fathers. It is the rarest of Catholics which I know that is not a Democrat. I find it fairly mysterious.

          • Huh? White Catholics’ Romney-Obama split was just about identical to white gentile non-Catholics’ Romney-Obama split. Many “Catholics” voted Obama because many American “Catholics” are Hispanics.

          • Liberalsuck

            Yep. I’ve met Catholics who didn’t want to vote for Romney simply because he was Mormon, despite the fact he was obviously better of a candidate than either two.

          • Joseph

            That statistic is probably true and THAT is what I find mysterious. I would *think* that Catholics would be be against His Hopefulness *to the person* since he is explicitly for homosexuals, public-financed abortion, forced coverage of contraceptives by religious organizations to employees.

            It is also the case that The Roman Catholic Church was the largest denomination in the U.S. way back in the 60’s before the Hispanics were even a significant presence so it isn’t all or primarily due to Hispanic Catholics and it doesn’t even make sense for THEM.

            I am not (here) judging the value of these points but they clearly are entirely contradictory to Catholic doctrine so I just don’t see how any percentage of “Catholics” (other than those wanting their relatives to cross the border) will support the guy except that they simply hold the tradition of being Democrat above the tradition of being Catholic.

        • carocaput

          I believe at one time there was a natural law party. After watching the last democratic presidential convention I believe a name change is in order. It is more honest and informing to call them the unnatural law party.

  • Seek

    Charles Murray has been MIA for too long ever since the public opprobrium of “The Bell Curve” (1994) — his co-author, Richard Herrnstein, died just before the book’s release, leaving Murray, the less schooled in genetics of the pair, to defend the work.
    True, this article isn’t really race-realism. And the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald has been writing the same kind of pieces. Yet it’s excellent anyway, a good counterweight to mediocre, fast-talking Republican political “consultants” who demand more pandering to Hispanics in the wake of the Romney defeat.


    I’m not a big fan of CM. This is a man who understands reality, but who has zero racial loyalty and who has made a career out of working for some of our race’s biggest enemies — the neocons. I think CM’s work has hurt more than helped. He serves as a safety valve to divert higher IQ whites from getting involved with white nationalism instead of reading dry, shallow treatments of racially related issues in enemy publications.

  • Rob

    Mexico City has had homosexual marriage for some time now. All the LIES Karl Rove and George W Bush told us are now being exposed. Jeb Bush another one. The GOP appears to be betraying us wholesale from what is leaking from Congress.

    Mexicans are no mystery you can read what they are in Richard Grant’s God’s Middle Finger, ending paragraph

    “I drove out of the mountains and then
    north across the
    plains and deserts and I didn’t stop driving for
    fifteen hours until I was in striking distance of the U.S.
    border. I was willing to write about celebrity bathroom
    fixtures for a living, designer footwear, what your window
    treatments say about you. Some other fool could go into
    Sinaloa. I never wanted to set foot in the Sierra Madre again.”

  • JohnEngelman

    The federal government’s National Vital Statistics Report on Births: Preliminary Data for 2010 shows the first decline in the percentage of children born illegitimately in many years. In 2010, 40.8 % of all births in America were to unmarried mothers, down marginally from 41.0% in 2009.

    This is in part due to the sharp fall in total births to Hispanics. The Latino illegitimacy rate still grew from 53.2% to 53.3%, but the Hispanic share of total births declined from 24.2% to 23.6%. The non-Hispanic white illegitimacy rate was stable at 29.0%, while the black rate fell from 72.8% to 72.5% and the Asian rate from 17.2% to 17.0%.

    • carocaputa

      Could not these minor decreases in numbers be due to lessening fertility period?

      • JohnEngelman

        What matters is that Hispanics have a much higher illegitimacy rate than whites, so by an important criterion they are not more socially conservative than whites. It is also worthy of note that Asians have a lower illegitimacy rate than whites.

  • Joseph Usario

    One thing for sure- higher birthrate among Latinos with succeeding generations typically more malign than the first with regard to welfare dependency, crime, illegitimacy.

    A truly ingenious strategy for the Republicans to promote more immigration but the deal is done. Reagan & Co. really started this vortex around the drain with NAFTA (though not implemented until Clinton) which even the goofy Perot warned of. This was chihuahua’s nose under the tent which facilitated this influx of refuse.

  • I am not surprised. Latinos are like blacks, appear to be conservative on such issues as abortion and gay marriage but are more interested in government benefits than with conservative values.

  • dd121

    This wasn’t just another election cycle. On Nov 6 of this year the two-party system ended in this country. Most people just haven’t come to realize that yet. Why do you think so many people are signing petitions to secede? Conservative and traditional Americans have just lost all hope of political representation. It’s similar to what happened to the South in 1860. What we’ll see is more corruption, arrogance and tyranny from the left. Fast and Furious was 10 time worse than what Nixon did. He got drummed out of office; Obama gets the story buried. Same with the Libyan fiasco. This is what comes of near absolute power. Expect more of the same.

  • The Conservative Hispanic Majority is a myth that needs to be exposed.

    The majority of Hispanics are natural born Democrats and that’s unlikely to change.

  • russia the last hope

    Thats been proven as far back as Nixon Goldwater and even Ike. Its a mirage fantasy.