No, Bush never received 44% of the Latino vote. In the GOP ‘autopsy’ report released this week, the section on Hispanics optimistically cites the oft-repeated claim that George W. Bush won a record-setting 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004 – the idea being: “We did it once, we can do it again!” But the truth is ‘Dubya’ never received that high a percentage of the Hispanic vote. No Republican ever has. In fact, many estimates place Bush’s share somewhere in the high 30’s or at an even 40% instead.
The GOP will be blamed for the enforcement mechanisms. Rubio and Rand both stress the need for a review of whether enforcement and border security is running smoothly. So, when these measures fail to live up to their expectations (inevitable), and Republican senators have to apply some brakes or tighten the border (Democrats won’t), any good will earned by the GOP goes out the window and it is once again ‘the anti-immigrant party.’
Immigration reform is unlikely to gain the GOP any actual converts. The aforementioned Latino Decisions poll found 43% of Latinos who voted for Obama said “they would be more likely to vote GOP in the future if the party takes a lead role on immigration reform.” Some have used this finding as evidence that immigration reform could win the GOP converts. But take a close look. Even assuming the poll’s accuracy, what it shows is not even a majority (only 43%) of Latino Obama-supporters would even potentially be swayed by immigration reform.