GOP Gaining Ground With Hispanics?

posted at 12:30 pm on November 27, 2010 by Matt Lewis

Remember all the hand-wringing from those smart “conservative” pundits (you know who they are) who, after the 2008 election, argued that the GOP had to moderate or else risk extinction?

Once it became clear that 2010 would be a good year for Republicans, many of these same folks quickly pivoted, adopting a nuanced argument that went like this:

“Sure the GOP can have a good year in 2010 — but that’s a mid-term election.  Winning in 2010, however, will actually reinforce the GOP’s silly notion that they can win the future without changing their conservative (read mean-spirited) ideology.  After all, changing demographics mean that conservatism will eventually go the way of the dodo”…

Now, even that argument, which — let’s be honest — was really their “plan b” argument, seems to be falling apart.

Writing in the Washington Post, Texas Rep. Lamar Smith notes,

Exit polls reported by CNN and updated this week reveal that a historically robust 38 percent of Hispanic voters cast ballots for House Republican candidates in 2010 – more than in 2006 (30 percent) and 2008 (29 percent). In fact, since 1984, Republican House candidates have only won a higher percentage of the Hispanic vote in one election: 2004. This level of Hispanic support for Republican candidates came despite widespread pre-election claims by advocates for illegal immigration that the Arizona law and a pro-rule-of-law stand would undercut Hispanic support for Republicans.

(In my estimation, 38 percent is nothing to write home about — but the trend line is, at least, finally going in the right direction).

Rep. Smith goes on to note the importance of the rise of conservative Hispanic candidates, adding:

Who are these pro-rule-of-law Hispanic rising stars in the Republican Party? Voters elected Susana Martinez governor of New Mexico, Brian Sandoval governor of Nevada and Florida’s Marco Rubio to the U.S. Senate. Bill Flores, Francisco Canseco, Jaime Herrera, Raul Labrador and David Rivera went to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Even the pro-amnesty advocacy group America’s Voice admitted that “Republicans can celebrate their victories, and hold up Rubio, Martinez and Sandoval as evidence that Republicans aren’t anti-Hispanic because they can get Latino Republicans elected in states with large Hispanic populations.”

Worth noting is that candidates like Rubio and Martinez appear to be bona fide conservatives — not moderates like, say, former Senator Mel Martinez.

I can’t wait to hear what the doomsday “conservative” pundits will say if this positive trend continues.

What’s their “plan c” argument?


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Just stealing the jobs Americans used to have … Even Hispanics see the problem.

tarpon on November 27, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Once again, it’s about the media narrative and Republican dupes who buy it.

The media is the key. Challenge their narrative, challenge them, and you weaken and ultimately marginalize American liberalism.

rrpjr on November 27, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Perspective, Rep. Smith. While 38% is obviously better than 29%, it has to be compared with the nationwide shift in voting. In 2008, Dems won the congressional vote nationwide by 9%. In 2010, last I saw was Republicans won by 6. That’s a 15% shift from Democratic to Republican. If the Hispanic shift was only 9%, that means fewer Hispanics moved towards the Republicans than did other groups.

AngusMc on November 27, 2010 at 12:47 PM

This is why a hispanic VP is very likely in 2012, probably Rubio. Susana Martinez will be tagged as too similar to Palin.

IR-MN on November 27, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Because middle class Hispanics see the threat from the Dems to the businesses and savings the Hispanics have worked so hard to build so they could pass them on to their kids?

Wethal on November 27, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Pundits on the left gleefully predict that Republicans being anti-amnesty will totally alienate Hispanics and as a result they will be reduced to being a rump party as non-Hispanic whites become a minority in the U.S. Even some conservative Republicans appear to be buying this argument.

However, Republicans will be slitting their throats if they support amnesty and by doing so essentially mandate open borders. There is no way that that the Republicans are going to get a large share of the votes of those amnestied and made into voting citizens as the Democrats can promise targeted benefits to them that will contribute to the bankrupting of the nation but will buy their votes.

On the other hand, there is little evidence that supporting amnesty and open borders will greatly increase support for Republicans among Hispanics. It is a “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” situation, but to support amnesty and open borders is to accelerate the growth of a group that will have a significant proportion supporting Republicans in any case because they are social conservatives (especially among Evangelicals, of whom a majority supported Bush against Kerry), but will never get the majority who will vote always Democratic for the spoils involved.

Plus, supporting secure borders and opposing any amnesty for those here illegally is morally the right policy and also the best policy from the standpoint of the long-term interests of the U.S. Therefore, Republicans should stand tough against the open borders advocates.

ptolemy on November 27, 2010 at 1:07 PM

This is why a hispanic VP is very likely in 2012, probably Rubio. Susana Martinez will be tagged as too similar to Palin.

IR-MN on November 27, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Tagging?

What’s the difference between Rubio and Palin in terms of “policy”?

TheAlamos on November 27, 2010 at 1:22 PM

The GOP also got about a third of the gay vote, which is great! (Next time, 51% or bust.) As Republicans become more libertarian, less establishment, it becomes clearer that they are the better party for those who mostly want to be left to live their lives, and that the GOP really is, at least, the lesser of two evils.

Tzetzes on November 27, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Plan C will be that these Hispanic Republicans aren’t “Hispanic enough”.

frode on November 27, 2010 at 1:24 PM

They are not real Hispanics. They are Tio Toms and probably racist, sexist homophobes.

swamp_yankee on November 27, 2010 at 1:28 PM

BREAKING NEWS…

Hispanic Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has just been appointed by Boehner and Cantor to Chair the distinguished Foreign Relations Committee.

First Cuban American ever to hold such a post.

ericdondero on November 27, 2010 at 1:29 PM

All people that live here legally have to compete with Illegal labor. It doesn’t matter if they are illegal Canadians, Germans or Mexicans.

Illegals will simply “self-de-migrate” if we went after any person or organization that employs, transports or harbors illegal foreign nationals.

BOOM! problem solved.

It would save the federal, state and local taxpayers GAJILLIONS of $dollars while opening up employment for U.S. citizens.

esnap on November 27, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Plan C will be that these Hispanic Republicans aren’t “Hispanic enough”.
frode on November 27, 2010 at 1:24 PM

That plan started in January 2010 or earlier..It did not work then and it won’t work in 2012.

Nelsa on November 27, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Plan C will be that these Hispanic Republicans aren’t “Hispanic enough”.
frode on November 27, 2010 at 1:24 PM

That plan started in January 2010 or earlier..It did not work then and it won’t work in 2012.

Nelsa on November 27, 2010 at 1:42 PM

“They are not real Hispanics. They are Tio Toms and probably racist, sexist homophobes.”

swamp_yankee on November 27, 2010 at 1:28 PM
———————————————————

Guilty as charged! iViva la revolucion!

princetrumpet on November 27, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Hispanic elbows to the face: Obama-1, Boehner-0.

theperfecteconomist on November 27, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Rubio et. al. were elected because they are candidates that any conservative can support. Hispanics and Blacks have some pretty conservative views on some topics. They, like the rest of the population, have leftist loudmouths among them that try to make outsiders think otherwise as well as try to intimidate conservatives into silence: “Tio Tom” is a great example. Don’t argue a political position, call your opponent derogatory names instead.

n0doz on November 27, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Plan C should be to divorce the San Fran Nan wing, leaving the Dinos. Let the Rinos join them; we’ll then have a Constitutionalist Republican party and a Wishy Pseudo-pragmatist Washy Dem party. Not ideal, but much better for the country.

njcommuter on November 27, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Hispanics will represent a major conservative voting bloc in the future. The only reason many leftist movements have existed in Latin America over the years is because, well, quite simply, Latin America is not the U.S.

Put Hispanics in this system, let them move into the middle class, and they will fall back upon their social conservatism based on their Catholic traditions.

I often make this point to my lefty friends and they don’t know what to think but I’d bet good money they at that point are considering reassessing their support for the “downtrodden migrant workers”…

No better way to turn a liberal against a group of people than to point out that those people are actually conservatives who are reacting to their current material and social circumstances rather than expressing ingrained beliefs…

Hispanics are generally patriarchal Catholics. Give them some material wealth and security and that will come out in full force. Pander away, liberals. This one will definitely bite you in the ass.

Metro on November 27, 2010 at 2:04 PM

I just hope that Hispanics do not allow the Democratic Party to convince them they are the new blacks. They have always seemed more interested in getting ahead and making money than feeling sorry for themselves. Hope this attitude continues. I find myself wondering though after that debacle of Meg Whitman’s. That woman(can’t remember her name)was certainly into the poor little me sob story and welcomed being used as a tool.

jeanie on November 27, 2010 at 2:04 PM

TheAlamos on November 27, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Just saying the media will try to destroy our VP nominee, esp if the person’s hispanic. Martinez has too many similarities to Palin, eg gov for only 2 years, small state, no major track record, mama grizzly. Rubio is from a major state, was a player before the Senate, has a track record and has written a lot about his views for gov.

IR-MN on November 27, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Democratics are useful idiots to the far-left hispanics with the nutty plans to ‘take back’ the Southwest. On the other hand maybe the hispanics are the useful idiots. Who knows how it will turn out.

slickwillie2001 on November 27, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Plan C will be that these Hispanic Republicans aren’t “Hispanic enough”.
frode on November 27, 2010 at 1:24 PM

That plan started in January 2010 or earlier..It did not work then and it won’t work in 2012.

Nelsa on November 27, 2010 at 1:42 PM

-
Seriously… It would be nice to see that form of ethnic labeling die. All those who use that form of shorthand should be labeled racists as the first response to their attempts to label. Hold them accountable at every turn for their divisiveness… and racism.
-

RalphyBoy on November 27, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Who did Governor elect Susana Martinez stand on the stage with during the primary?

Did this person’s endorsement hurt Susana Martinez during the general?

Who endorsed Susana Martinez after she won the primary?

Who is the person the RGA asked to endorse Susana Martinez during the primary so she could secure the GOP nomination?

Governor Sarah Palin

When the women that Gov. Palin endorsed start saying you voted for me and I believe in the same values, principles, and policies and direction for this country as Sarah Palin then what?

When they say the corrupt MSM tried to do the same thing to me that they did to Sarah Palin and because of Sarah Palin I was ready for the corrupt MSM, then what?

When they say let me introduce you to the real Sarah Palin, then what? And it won’t only be the women, it will also be the men that the good governor endorsed, then what?

Please God, guide Sarah Palin to make the right decision.

That is all we can ask for. I support her in or out and will support who she supports. It is what it is.

Look no further then the Bush and Rove endorsed Kay Bailey Hutchinson and the surprisingly nasty Barbara Bush.

Gov. Perry is now head of the RGA.

Will Governor Palin stay out of the mess going on at the RNC? Stay tune.

oldyeller on November 27, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Just saying the media will try to destroy our VP nominee, esp if the person’s hispanic. Martinez has too many similarities to Palin, eg gov for only 2 years, small state, no major track record, mama grizzly. Rubio is from a major state, was a player before the Senate, has a track record and has written a lot about his views for gov.

IR-MN on November 27, 2010 at 2:06 PM

————-

It is the same old BS. The man has the experience and the woman doesn’t.

Rubio is a freckin senator and Obama is a freckin senator. How has that worked out for us?

Martinez will be a freckin CEO, running a freckin state and she had a track record before but that doesn’t count because she is a freckin woman.

Give me a freckin break you bunch of sexist pigs.

oldyeller on November 27, 2010 at 3:01 PM

We have all these elected Hispanic candidates largely because of one person who was not afraid to go out on a limb and endorse them when they needed some big time recognition and financial support. Without Sarah where would we be? Certainly the Romney/Rino wing of the GOP did zilch to help these people. AND she stood up for Alan West and the other black rep who got elected to Congress. AND Alan West is already starting to kick some butt in the Black Caucus. People like him and Rubio are the left’s worst nightmare because they are going to go after the Black and Hispanic communities and point out the liberal plantation tactics and how it has hurt these groups. Look for more women, blacks and hispanics coming out of the woodwork who will be endorsed and promoted by Mama Grizzley. As John Paul Jones said, “We have only begun to fight!”

shmendrick on November 27, 2010 at 3:37 PM

“GOP Gaining Ground With Hispanics?”
And why not? Contrary to many people’s belief, most Hispanics escape their countries with Obama-like regimes, where government gets to decide what belongs to you and what not, any dissent is perceived and exposed as radical and reactionary, and can easily land you in jail, or worst, no questions asked. The last thing they want to encounter is the same style government they escaped from the first time. Source, 30 years living in a south-American country which has seen 3 military coups, a Communist regime, several socialist regimes and a few years of “right-wing” (yeah-right) governments, all these in the last 44 years.

mile66 on November 27, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Wasn’t it the head of the Hispanic caucus who just gave Obama a fat lip? Just sayin’….

TheBigOldDog on November 27, 2010 at 4:02 PM

I am sure Enrique and Ernie will be here soon to do their best impressions of a wet blanket.

CWforFreedom on November 27, 2010 at 4:12 PM

oldyeller on November 27, 2010 at 3:01 PM

The Palinistas really give the Obama zombies a run for their money; luckily the wider electorate is more sane.

IR-MN on November 27, 2010 at 4:25 PM

The Arizona law was a brilliant re-framing of the debate. Like everybody else, Hispanic Americans have no problem carrying their drivers’ licenses when going down the street to get ice cream. They sat next to Anglo kids taking driver’s ed when they were 15, too.

In the debate over the shamnesty bill a while back, the rhetoric did venture into the anti-Hispanic, and that was a turn-off. But the current debate, conservatives wised up and emphasized criminality of illegal aliens, rather than their differences with predominantly Anglo American society. Simply because one is Hispanic, it does not follow that one would enjoy being mugged by an illegal immigrant, or waiting 4 hours in an ER with a broken arm while the ER treats the illegals for sniffles.

Sekhmet on November 27, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Two of my male cousins went to Mexico and found traditional, devout Catholic brides. They are lovely stay at home moms and both do volunteer work. They are also ultra-conservative as are many of their friends. They have a rather large club of Latinas married to white American men, and every last one of them on our team.
God bless ‘em all.
They fiercely oppose the Dream Act and illegals getting amnesty, and all of ‘em emigrated through legal channels.

OmahaConservative on November 27, 2010 at 5:19 PM

I get so tired and offened by stories like this. The media, including the conservative media, seemed surprised that Latinos CAN SUPPORT and ARE Republicans or conservatives. We’re dismissed from discussions, specifically on issues that are said to affect the Latino community, such as immigration.

This is the same rhetoric, over and over, and it displays the ignorance of pols and the media.

madmonkphotog on November 27, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Every Hispanic I know from work or church votes Republican.

On the other hand, I have not polled the local construction crews, landscape contractors, agricultural workers, etc.

rwenger43 on November 27, 2010 at 11:46 PM

AngusMc on November 27, 2010 at 12:47 PM

While that might be true, the fact that almost 10% of the Hispanic population moved to the R column THIS year is significant. This year was a full out assault on the Republican border security ideas, with the media trumpeting far & wide that the entirety of the Republican party is xenophobic because of 1070. If things worked like the media & Dems predicted the bottom would have fallen out of the Hispanic vote for Republicans, not increased.

California isn’t Texas, but the media treat all of us Hispanics from the two states the same. We’re not. Us Texan Hispanics are like the rest of our fellow Texans, rather conservative and Republican voters. Perry got about 45%.

lizzie beth on November 27, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Rubio is from a major state, was a player before the Senate, has a track record and has written a lot about his views for gov.

IR-MN on November 27, 2010 at 2:06 PM

And yet on paper he has no more qualifications than Obama did, other than being a great spokesman from the next battleground constituency group Rs can’t afford to lose.

So if you advocate so strongly for pandering to specific constituency groups, what’s wrong with the woman vote?

Just saying the media will try to destroy our VP nominee

Were you paying attention during the 2008 campaign? Were you a Conservative then? Do you remember that we lost because we let the media choose our Republican nominee. Hello! Earth to IR-MN! What was the 2010 election about, other than we ran the candidates we really wanted, who we thought could make a difference from the status quo Dem. We didn’t let the media pick our candidates, and we got great results (not in every case, but in most). So why do YOU want to go back to business-as-usual?
The media has lost its stranglehold on controlling the conversation, Sarah has demonstrated how to re-frame a narrative and because we are out of power our Presidential candidates will have a mission to accomplish during their media appearances.
So why should we nominate people we don’t really want or who aren’t really ready in order to be challenged less by the media?

rwenger43 on November 28, 2010 at 12:09 AM

IR-MN on November 27, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Let me guess. You are an example of that “sane” electorate?
Why didn’t you answer TheAlaMOS question?

OkieDoc on November 28, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Hispanics have been divided over Amnesty in every poll I’ve seen. Yet it is assumed that the “correct” position on Amnesty will automatically get their votes. That’s really quite a racist assumption, once you stop to think it out.

And since Amnesty is a losing position with 70% of the electorate overall, even if the Open Borders crowd were right, it would be a losing strategy. Rather like trying to buy the black vote, you can’t buy them away from the Democrats without alienating the rest of the electorate.

LarryD on November 29, 2010 at 10:16 AM