But the GOP norm is failure to even compete in Hispanic districts — and that has a cost. A new book, Latino America, by social scientists Matt Barreto and Gary Segura, argues that Hispanics vote at much lower levels than other ethnic groups in part because they receive far less attention from politicos. Fewer than one-third of Hispanics say they have been contacted by a party or politician before an election, compared to nearly half of whites, according to the book.
Instead of reaching out to Hispanic voters by fielding candidates in Hispanic districts, Republican Party leaders are pushing for increased immigration. Leadership hasn’t yet explained how giving President Obama a signing ceremony on an immigration bill will convert the Hispanic population to the Grand Old Party.
Putting the GOP on the record for increased immigration, meanwhile, runs the risk of alienating a much more gettable group of voters that also has been staying home of late: blue-collar whites.