Republicans Chasing an Hispanic Unicorn

Mike Flynn, Breitbart, August 27, 2015

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For almost a decade, the Republican party has interpreted losses at the ballot box as its inability to attract Hispanic voters. This, in turn, is blamed on segments of the conservative wing of the party whose rhetoric allegedly turns off Hispanic voters. When conservatives empower a Republican victory, as in 2004, 2010 or 2014, the win is dismissed as almost an aberration. Oh, that victory you have there is because Hispanics didn’t vote, Republican leaders imply.

When relaying their great Hispanic creation story, Republican myth-makers will point to a recent Gallup survey that found Hispanic voters really, really don’t like Donald Trump. Hispanic voters dislike Trump by a massive 51 points over those that do.

Given that Trump has been actively campaigned against Hispanic as a group, this is hardly surprising. More surprising is how little regard Hispanic voters seem to have for Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, who have made a more “moderate” tone on immigration the centerpieces of their appeal.

More than half of Hispanic voters aren’t even familiar with Marco Rubio, who was the public spokesman of amnesty legislation in the Senate two years ago. Rubio mentions his family’s migration to the United States in every political speech and virtually every media appearance. Yet, his net-favorability with Hispanics is just 5 points.

Jeb Bush is fluent in Spanish, regularly gives Spanish language interviews and speeches and always points out that his wife is Mexican. A stereotypical WASP, Bush seems to think it is particularly noteworthy to mention repeatedly that he married a Mexican citizen. He proudly states in interviews that he and his wife speak Spanish at home more than English.

Yet, only 57 percent of Hispanic voters are even familiar with Jeb Bush, even though both his brother and father made amnesty major priorities of their time in office. Just one-third of Hispanics have a favorable view of the younger Bush. His net-positive rating is just 11 points.

A new poll from Quinnipiac finds both Rubio and Bush losing badly to Clinton among Hispanic voters. Clinton beats Bush by 20 points among Hispanics. Rubio loses Hispanics to Clinton by 29 points.

Rubio earns just a quarter of the Hispanic vote, while Bush wins 35 percent. And Donald Trump? He wins 21 percent of the Hispanic vote against Clinton. The favorable view of Rubio and Bush by Hispanics is an order of magnitude better than Trump’s, but their difference in a head-to-head match up against Clinton is slight.

Bush and Rubio’s political impulse to appeal to Hispanic voters doesn’t translate into support for them in a general, but it is greatly diminishing their appeal among conservatives. One would be hard-pressed to find a greater political miscalculation.

The uncomfortable truth for the Republican party is that Hispanic voters are Democrats, almost regardless of a Republican’s position on immigration.

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