Why The GOP Desperately Needs The Latino Vote To Win
In both 2008 and 2012, President Barack Obama lost the white working-class vote to John McCain and Mitt Romney while still winning the election. Since 1980, the white vote has declined by 18 percentage points, from 88% of the vote in 1980 to 70% of the vote in 2012. On that basis alone, Reagan would have lost to Obama in 2012.
Many on the left are hypocritical when it comes to issues of race, and there is unfortunately a double-standard in both politics and the culture wars. If we are honest though there has always been hypocrisy and double-standards on both sides of the aisle. The problem for conservatives, the right, and the GOP in general is that socially, we have trended left over the past few decades which has translated into social conservatives feeling persecuted.
Since 1980, every Republican who won the White House attained between 30-40% of the Latino vote (Reagan, Bush I & Bush II). Every Republican who lost only received 21-31% (Bush I, McCain, & Romney). The Republicans who did best among Latinos were Reagan & Bush II, the former got 35% and later 37% and the latter got 35% and later 40%. The first passed amnesty & the second one tried.
The Latino demographic is the second largest in the nation and the fastest growing. Many of Latinos are born & raised in the US, and have grandparents or parents that used to be illegals and were made legal by Reagan’s Amnesty in 1986.
Many others have grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters and other family that is still illegal. Many of those that don’t have had friends or even lovers that were illegal or are married to such.
Waving the “Mexican hordes” flag or pushing laws against illegal immigrants like Pete Wilson did and later Mitt Romney only angers and causes Latinos to close ranks, register to vote, and then give said votes to Democrats.
There are certainly Latinos who received Reagan’s amnesty that don’t want another amnesty. This reminds me of those who benefitted from affirmative action or FAFSA who now want it ended. For a variety of reasons, their views changed. Obviously, Latinos are not a monolithic bloc, though the tone used about the subject of illegal immigration turns off many who would consider voting Republican.
The GOP has lost not just the Hispanic vote, the black vote, the women’s vote, and the youth vote, but also the Asian vote. A majority of Asians likewise support comprehensive immigration reform. In fact, there are over 1.3 million undocumented Asians in the U.S.
What seems to matter is tone and a willingness to accept at least those inside the country already being productive workers and students, and raising families. This is the path Reagan and Bush II took getting enough of the Latino votes to serve two terms. Demonizing, demeaning, or threatening to deport their grandparents, parents, siblings, children, spouses, or lovers and the GOP can forget about the White House.