Five reasons Republicans won’t win Latino voters with immigration reform
4. Demographics don’t swing elections
Even if Republicans did bring up their percentage of the Latino vote, it wouldn’t make a great difference nationwide. Say Mitt Romney won George W Bush’s percentage of the Latino vote, he still would have lost the nationwide vote by 1.4pt. The reason is that the Latino vote still only makes up 9-10% of the vote in the national exit polls, and slightly less in most other surveys.
The rate of growth of the Latino vote nationwide has been relatively slow. A solid estimate matching past trends from David Broockman and Ethan Roeder put the Latino vote growing about 0.6pt as a portion of the electorate every presidential election through 2024. Obama’s margin of victory would be just 0.7pt higher according to projected demographics for 2024. That puts an onus on Republicans to win more Latino votes, though it’s not as large an imperative as one might assume.
5. Most Latino voters don’t live in swing states
Most of the growth in the Latino vote is occurring in non-swing states. California and Texas are where most the Latino voters are and will continue to be. California will be blue for the foreseeable future, and Texas isn’t going to turn blue for another decade and a half. Arizona is an intriguing state for Democrats, though the recent Republican turn of the white vote makes it a non-swing state.
The only swing states in which Latinos make up the same or a greater percentage of the electorate than nationally are Colorado, Florida, and Nevada.