A friendly reminder to congressional Republicans before Obama’s big amnesty push that comprehensive immigration reform alone isn’t going to solve their problem with Latinos.
According to a new impreMedia/Latino Decisions survey of more than 5,600 Latino voters, a whopping 77 percent favor increasing taxes on the wealthy. While the vast majority of Democratic Latino voters — 86 percent — fall into that category, so do 51 percent of Republican Latino voters…
Independent Latino voters — those not attached to either party and thus viewed by both Republicans and Democrats as valuable potential assets to be courted — favor increasing taxes on the wealthy at a rate of 77 percent…
Barreto also notes that 31 percent of Latino voters would be more likely to vote Republican in future elections if the party “took a leadership role and helped to pass comprehensive immigration reform.” Among those potential Republican voters, only 13 percent support a spending-cuts only approach while 77 percent support taxes on the wealthy to reduce the deficit.
Two points. First, that write-up is misleading insofar as it suggests (without clearly stating) that Latinos support deficit reduction through tax hikes alone. Not so. A plurality of 42 percent supports a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, with 35 percent in favor of the tax-hikes-only approach and 12 percent in favor of cuts-only. So the good news is that 54 percent overall supporting cutting spending; the bad news is that a much higher percentage support tax increases. Second, the numbers here aren’t wildly different from the numbers in Politico’s poll of adults this morning, which showed 60 percent support generally for tax hikes on the wealthy and 39 percent support among Republicans specifically. The conservative position isn’t just disfavored by Latinos, in other words, it’s disfavored by most of the population, including a significant minority on our own side — but the problem is more pronounced with Latinos, which raises a key question about that 31 percent figure on comprehensive immigration reform. Do Latinos favor bigger government enough that most of the goodwill earned by Republicans in passing amnesty would instantly be squandered, or would passing amnesty be such an icebreaker that many Latinos would be willing to hear the GOP out on spending versus taxation in a way they haven’t before?
Meanwhile, from the same impreMedia/Latino Decisions poll, I’m not sure what to make of this:
Play around with the crosstabs at the last link and you’ll find that Latinos aged 18-30 were significantly more likely to say they voted in order to “Support Latinos” than those aged 66+. Likewise, naturalized Latino citizens were 10 points more likely to say so than U.S.-born Latino citizens were. On the one hand, the fact that there’s a huge bloc who are voting along identity lines instead of party lines means, theoretically, that those voters are more “gettable” than voters who say they voted to “Support Democrats.” It’s these voters, maybe, who will be most receptive to GOP movement on comprehensive immigration reform. On the other hand, voting to support your identity group instead of your party isn’t a monument to assimilationism. That’s not unique to Latinos, of course, and it may be part of a broader trend across all racial groups, which would be ominous for the future of American politics, but there it is. Just another data point as we approach the Big Immigration Debate.