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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Republicans who do not want to pass comprehensive immigration reform have been telling themselves a story: A Republican can win the White House in 2016 by just picking up the white voters who didn’t show up for Mitt Romney in 2012.

But even the mastermind of this theory, Real Clear Politics‘ Sean Trende, admits that just getting these “missing white voters” to reappear at levels not seen since 1984 isn’t enough.

“In fact, if the African-American share of the electorate drops back to its recent average of 11 percent of the electorate and the GOP wins 10 percent of the black vote rather than 6 percent, the next Republican would win narrowly if he or she can motivate these ‘missing whites,’ even without moving the Hispanic (or Asian) vote,” Trende writes.

The stated goal of supporting immigration reform for the GOP — at least according to Karl Rove, the evil  genius behind the “winning” 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns and the man who helped the GOP sweep a record number of elections in 2010 — is to win at least 35 percent of the Latino vote.

Romney won around 28 percent, less than John McCain, who with 31 percent in 2008 took in a smaller share than George W. Bush’s 40 percent in 2004.

Trende’s math depends on Republicans maintaining Romney’s “success” at least with Latino voters. This probably seems easy to Republicans who recognize that Romney’s craven endorsement of “self-deportation” in the GOP primary should be the low point in the history of GOP/Latino relations.

But that was before the Democratic Senate passed an immigration reform bill that the president said he would sign. That was before that bill was sent to the House, where the Republican leadership took out their list of go-to Obama complaints and arranged them in a somewhat logical order.

The bill is too big.  It’s “rushed,” “secret and underhanded.” While admitting our “immigration system is broken,” they attacked the Senate bill for trying to fix the whole system.

This may have pleased the “missing white voter” Republicans. But it sure pissed off the “Walter Cronkite of Hispanic news.”


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