GOP Should Look Well Beyond Hispanics & Immigration Issue Before 2016

GOP’ cannot rely on Latino turnaround to produce future victories

Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Here’s a simple way of looking at it: If the Hispanic vote had swung 20 points in the GOP’s direction in every swing state, Obama would still have prevailed in the Electoral College with a 303-235 victory. While losses among Hispanics would cost Obama his narrow win in Florida, even a net-20 point GOP gain wouldn’t swing Colorado or Nevada. And if it did, Obama would still have won through either Virginia or Ohio.    

Although an “evolution” on Immigration Reform and similar or related issues is probably prerequisite to any serious GOP effort to repair its support in the Hispanic community, many commentators have correctly observed that moving to the left on immigration isn’t a panacea. There are many reasons why Hispanics lean-Democratic, and it’s an open question whether concessions on immigration reform could erase the memory of a half-decade’s worth of immigration fights.

For instance, in Florida, the state where the Latino vote figures most prominently into Republican fortunes, the “immigration” issue there might actually have a lesser degree of import to the latino community because, in truth, the heavy Puerto Ricans and Cuban communities are probably less connected to the immigration debate than Hispanics originating in Mexico or Central America.

And elsewhere, the importance of the Hispanic vote is diminished by the Electoral College. While Hispanic voters were truly decisive in Florida, Latinos are inefficiently concentrated in non-competitive states, like Texas and California.

In many battleground states, the Hispanic vote plays a vanishingly small role. Obama won New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Iowa by a larger margin than the Hispanic share of the electorate, suggesting that Obama would have won if Romney had won every Hispanic voter in those states.

The exit polls suggest that Hispanics represented just 3 and 5% of the electorate in Virginia and Ohio, only slightly more than Obama’s 2 and 4 point margins of victory.

Even in the southwestern states, where the Latino vote plays a critical role in the recent fortune of Democratic candidates, Obama’s strength among non-Hispanic voters in Colorado and Nevada gave Democrats breathing room to withstand considerable losses among Hispanic voters.

When the initial national exit polls showed an increase in Hispanic turnout and support for President Obama, political commentators immediately resolved that Romney’s deeply conservative immigration stance doomed him. The “immigration” explanation, or perhaps excuse, quickly and easily attracted bi-partisan support.

The argument satisfied Democrats who had long anticipated a Latino surge to inaugurate a new era of Democratic dominance in national elections, and the immigration excuse was also quite convenient for Republicans of all brands as well – minus Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan & Tom Tancredo. The establishment wing of the Republican Party supported comprehensive immigration reform all along, and pinning the blame on immigration reform allowed true conservatives to avoid questioning deeply held position closer to the core of their beliefs.

Romney’s performance among Latino voters was abysmal, and it wasn’t helped by his stance on immigration reform. But the immigration explanation for Romney’s defeat isn’t quite as good as it sounds.

The GOP also fell short of their benchmarks with rural Midwesterners, voters in well-educated and affluent suburbs, and African Americans. Hispanic voters were just one of many components of Obama’s victory, not an overriding factor.

The GOP will have miscalculated the breadth of their challenge if they adopt immigration reform as their one-plank plan for recapturing the White House in 2016.

Making matters worse for Republicans, Democratic Senate candidates ran as well as or ahead of the president in white areas in just about every competitive state, including:

  1. Florida
  2. Ohio
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Virginia, and
  5. Wisconsin

The performance of these candidates suggests that the GOP’s issues extend beyond specific problems with Romney, or the unique appeal of the president. And most likely, its too early to tell whether Republicans were hurt more by abortion, tax policy, or something else, but it’s clear that Romney’s issue among rural, white northerners wasn’t just Bain Capital, and his problem in affluent suburbs wasn’t just his pledge to end funding to Planned Parenthood.

If Romney’s historic performance among white voters manifested evenly across the electoral map, then Republicans could justifiably consider their “demographic challenge” as their primary obstacle to victory in 2016. But the Republicans shouldn’t let their national standing among white voters obscure their real challenges with white voters outside of the South.

Certainly, it’s not useful for Republican strategists to take solace in Obama’s 39% showing among white voters if Obama still managed to do much better than Kerry or Gore in states like:

  1. Colorado
  2. Iowa
  3. Minnesota
  4. New Hampshire, or
  5. Wisconsin

In the Electoral College system, turning “lean Republican” states like Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri into “solid Republican” states just doesn’t matter.

The numbers illustrate the folly of relying too much on a Latino turnaround to produce a Republican victory.

Obama leads the national popular vote by about 3 points, but the exit polls indicate that Hispanics represented just 10% of the electorate. Finding 3 points worth of gains in 10% of the electorate is extraordinarily challenging: for Republicans to win the popular vote by means of Hispanics alone, they’d need to gain a net-30 points among Latino voters, reducing Obama’s 44 point lead to just 14 points.

While there’s nothing wrong with the GOP aiming high for 2016, it’s very difficult to imagine Democrats falling beneath 60% of the Hispanic vote in a competitive national race. Republicans will need to compliment improvements among Hispanics with plenty of gains among other demographic groups.

The Republicans have a Hispanic problem. Certainly, Republicans need to improve with Latino voters, and quickly. The Latino share of the electorate is poised to increase incrementally in every election for the foreseeable future, raising the GOP’s burden with Hispanics each year.

But they also have a problem with young voters, African Americans, affluent suburbs, and the rural Midwest. A winning GOP coalition in 2016 will involve gains with each of these groups, not just one.

And if Republicans assume that a quick flip flop on immigration reform will produce massive gains among Hispanics, they’ll probably be disappointed.


  1. @otto
    I’ve got to quit reading your tripe—once again you have proven how stupid or ignorant or both you are. I’m one of those angry, gun toting, bible clinging, white right wingers. Unlike you are—I’m not mad about anything. I own a small businees and when there are problems here, I become frusterated and begin to seek solutions to the problems and sometimes the solution is harsh!! I, like many other Texans, can see things aren’t right and we are looking for solutions to the problem. After this election—I see only one pathway to sanity and I hope Texans take it!!!

    BTW—If you live in Texas—-don’t you think California or New York would be more to your liking???

  2. lmcr,

    Gov. Romney didn’t only lose the majority of HIspanic Americans, he also lost a majority of Asian Americans, and Black Americans, and Gay Americans, and he lost a majority of female Americans, and younger Americans, and Americans who live in cities.

    The fact is, Obama voters are far more representative of the diverse American population than are Republican voters. Republicans, on this site in particular, constantly denigrate anyone who doesn’t look or think or act like them. It’s unrealistic to vilify so many of your fellow Americans 24/7/365 then act “shocked” that they don’t vote for your candidate. Is this really a surprise?

    And it’s not enough to agree with Republican “conservatives” most of the time, you’ve got to agree ALL the time or else they’ll brand you a RINO or worse. Then, you’re unceremoniously purged from the party. Just ask Sen. Richard Lugar or any of the other Republican moderates sent packing by TeaParty ideologues. Only the ideologically pure are tolerated in the new Republican party.

    Republicans have only themselves to blame. The angry, judgmental, xenophobic relic of what was once the pragmatic, center-right, optimistic party of Reagan has devolved into a shrinking band of radical rightwing jihadis who only support America and the American government when they can run it and run it totally their way – it’s their way or the highway.

    Well, fine then.

    It’s the rational majority who just showed the Radical Rightwing Republicans the highway. If Republicans ever manage to work their way back to being the party of Reagan or Eisenhower or Nixon even, well maybe then more voters will start taking them seriously again.



    Americans work all their lives, in good times and bad times as we have currently, then illegal aliens broach our borders or just jump on an international jet and once here demand rights and the majority of these used up politicians reward them. I am placing prominence on the term illegal alien, not a legal immigrant. ILLEGAL ALIEN is a far cry from a responsible person who commits themselves to follow the law, come here and is pandered to by the court system, declaring we must educate their children or allow them to access our health care system. Legal immigrants come here and are settled here with a green card, except illegal aliens come here disrespect our laws. Although a majority are from South of our border, approximately 46 percent come by aircraft with no intentions of returning even though they came here on a visitor’s visa. Two question remain open to momentous decisions, why isn’t illegal entry never been asserted as a class 1 felony, or why overstays are never tracked? It strange those crewmembers that jump ship or stay without permission are hunted down by ICE. It is obvious to me that these two situations above, that illegal entry being a civil offense or the no mechanism to track visa overstays was deliberate. YES deliberate! Nothing has ever made any sense since the original blanket amnesty of the 1986 Reagan dynasty?

    The responsibility for the estimated population of illegal aliens of 20 million plus, is more to the truth than the exaggerated 11 million. This number has remained the same for the past decade and it’s impossible to believe it? Numbers are manufactured by the overwhelming Socialistic journalists, editorial staff or reporters in the national press, or even several administrations over the years. Initially the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) gave 2.7 million illegal migrants and immigrants a path to citizenship, but beginning of 1997 those former illegal aliens had been totally replaced by new illegal aliens, and that the unauthorized population again stood at more than 5 million; through fraudulent applications and poor inspections by agents of the government. Badly regulated the procedures were not observed and the fact that the so called strict laws to prosecute illegal wrongdoers or the employers who hired them, was never enforced and the funding almost none existent and immigration surged.

    The likelihood of President Obama pressing for another insane path to citizenship for all illegal aliens already here, because of his promise will have huge major costs. Then we have nonchalant Republicans looking towards their future, who are now climbing into the a similar solution, hoping that if they kowtow to the minorities that they will gain headway. All I see is a massive flood of more and more illegal usurpers looking for a cheap ride from the U.S. taxpayer. Eventually, we will all pay in higher taxes that will be gleaned from citizens, whether black, white or any other racial makeup as another blanket amnesty will attract even more people. The only people, who will not pay a cent towards the new onslaught, are the “FREELOADERS” the people who think working for a living is a bad ideology.

    Millions more desperate, people will think its open season on America, and the word will be shouted out and not just South of our border, but worldwide. Our only and final chance to stop the overwhelming rush of foreign nationals is to enforce our border. Former President Bush enacted the 2006 Secure Fence Bill which funded a two layer fence similar to the one of separating Israel from its enemies. A double parallel fence that in the long run could halt massive amounts of drugs and foreigners into our sovereign nation. In between each 15 foot fence would be a rapid interdiction tracks for the U.S. Border Patrol agents. For interior enforcement the full impact of “THE LEGAL WORKFORCE BILL” It contains E-Verify to oversee and audit businesses that hire illegal aliens and bring them to court. Immediately we must nurse an amendment into the 14th Amendment, which is a commonsense to stop pregnant females from illegally entering America, then claiming citizenship for a child. Not only do you pay for all the amenities of deliveries, but you pay for contrived citizenship of a child and everything from then on is on a birthright or naturalized citizens back of paying the bills and even Green Card Holders are not exempt.

    We must prevent this from occurring anymore by adopting the “BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL” that both parties have ignored and refused to place this bill to be read on the house floor. It stops the accommodation of illegal alien females from their kids getting instantaneous citizenship, by making it mandatory that one parent must be a citizen. Well it’s up to the American people now whether to keep this insanity rolling and taxpayers covering the expenses for these children, or demand from the Congress a change in the law. These children given citizenship are a stepping stone for their parents, to collect even more welfare. The more children they conceive, the less chance it is for the parents to be deported. In fact the more children mean extra welfare payments and additionally a carefully planned access to free housing—government sponsored. We can eradicate this nonsensical law and the hundreds of billions of dollars, going to our own impoverished. THESE ILLEGAL ALIENS COME HERE WITHOUT EVER PAYING TAXES, SOCIAL SECURITY, FICA AND OUR GOVERNMENT ALLOWS THEM TO STEAL OUR SAFETYNET AND REAP THE BENEFITS.

    . If the taxpaying populace ever realized that the common denominator for the DREAM ACT AS IMPOSED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA was because of the illicit original introduction into our country from wherever, were decade’s illegal children or the unborn smuggled into our country.

    OH! Incidentally—America is already bankrupt? How can you have a 16 Trillion deficit, with just about every state on the edge of insolvency and stating we are not already bankrupt? The feds can print as many dollar bills as they like, but China is our landlord now and our creditor. Whatever the fiscal cliff is, we have already passed that demarcation point. Of course come December the two political groups will come to some compromise, but it will be all a massive big lie. A fabrication of the fact that the U.S. government can juggle numbers, move the zero’s around to make it look good to the American population. They have lots of committees, pat each other on their back, congratulating each other on cutting back on taxes and spending, but in truth it will be one big carnival. AS usual, they will pass the astronomical dollar figure onto the next generations. First and foremost I personally think we need a restructuring of our ancient tax code, which applies a fair and equitable measure for all. So that everybody pays something and that only the lowest of incomes pays zero. No more subsidies deductions or any of the pleasures unions get, or any special interest groups—everybody pays?

  4. I don’t know where to start. Every time one starts writing, you are supposed to think about the right words but perhaps I’m done with being “politically correct”. I am just shocked with the results of the election, and most of all I am shocked by the power Hispanics have in this country.

    Check out Immigration Reform, Hispanics and First Class Citizenship

  5. EVERY White country on the planet is forced to become multicultural and multiracial.
    EVERY white country is told to end its own race and culture.

    No one asks that of ANY non-White country. Immigration and forced-assimilation is for ALL & ONLY White countries.

    Anti-Whites call themselves “anti-racist”, but their words & actions lead to the genocide of only one group: White people.

    The true goal of anti-racism is to genocide my people.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

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