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Are Latinos ‘Natural’ Republicans?

Memo Pad Politics

Are Latinos ‘Natural’ Republicans?


On election night, former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw appeared confused at how dismally Mitt Romney had performed with Latinos. “Latinos are a natural constituent of Republicans,” Brokaw said.

This is a sentiment Republicans have been offering again and again as they try to understand how they have done worse with Latino voters in every presidential election since 2000.

The subtext is, “Aren’t they Catholic and pro-life? Why wouldn’t they vote for us?”

It doesn’t take Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball to understand why Mitt Romney did even worse attracting Latino voters than John McCain and George W. Bush.

Bush vehemently supported comprehensive immigration reform — as did McCain, before AM radio convinced him that building “that damn fence” was his only way into the White House. In the GOP primary, Mitt Romney went right on immigration to beat Rick Perry, endorsing a policy that you’ll surely never hear any mainstream Republican mention again: “self-deportation.”

Americans of Hispanic or Latino descent are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States. They now make up 11 percent of the electorate and Pew says that they’re likely to double that share by 2030.

But did they cost Mitt Romney the election? No.

“The bottom line is that even if Romney had made historic gains among Hispanic voters, he still would have lost the election,” writes the Washington Examiner’s Byron York. The New Republic‘s Nate Cohn confirms that if Romney had performed 20 points better with Hispanics, Obama still would have won 303 electoral votes.

So what’s behind the freak-out over Romney’s miserable performance with Latinos?

In one word: Texas.

The Lone Star State’s newest senator-elect, Ted Cruz, explained the predicament to The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza:

In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat. If that happens, no Republican will ever again win the White House. New York and California are for the foreseeable future unalterably Democrat. If Texas turns bright blue, the electoral college math is simple. We won’t be talking about Ohio, we won’t be talking about Florida or Virginia, because it won’t matter. If Texas is bright blue, you can’t get to 270 electoral votes. The Republican Party would cease to exist.


  1. old_blu November 23, 2012

    It wasn’t the Latinos that cost Mitt the election…………It was Mitt.

    1. Dol5 November 24, 2012

      And don’t forget who he chose for Vice President.

    2. Fred Smith November 24, 2012

      Mitt who?

  2. nobsartist November 23, 2012

    I figure only assholes are “natural” republiCONs.

  3. Joseph Glackin November 23, 2012

    When Warren Rudman, who recently died, declined to run for a third term in the Senate, he observed that the GOP had become a party of “movement conservatives and religious fundamentalists that I find repugnant.”
    I submit that he has re-christened the GOP. All hail the Repugnant Party!

    1. B T November 23, 2012

      And remeber: Rudman left the Senate in 1993!!!

      It has only gotten worse since then.

  4. Robert Doyle November 23, 2012

    The photo of Rico Romney with Rico Rubio is fitting. Both men lie a lot. Both are once removed from being born a Latino . Rubio cast a false heritage as a Cuban Refugee of Castro’s Cuba. He was born in America, of parents who left Cuba before Fidel Castro even had his “Revolucian”. Rico Rubio is a Las Vegas kid who got lucky to attend a college and built his story well by hanging in Miami .

  5. amarquez647 November 23, 2012

    I am a Latino, 100% Puerto Rican, Loyal son of Uncle Sam. I WANT NO “PENDEJO” as the head of this glorious country.

    1. Unae November 24, 2012

      Had to look that word up and its cool. I’ll add it to my list and alternate it with “dumba$$”.

  6. Deborah White November 24, 2012

    I have to say, that my experience with hispanic voters,( after canvassing in 2008 and 2012) is that, yes, the Latino vote could go Republican if the party honored minorities. Most of the people that I interviewed were against abortion and fairly conservative on other issues. But they aren’t stupid and everyone that I spoke with remembered “self-deportation” even if they had been here for many years. I was happy with the election results but there were many hispanics were voting for the immagration issue this year but that can change. As a Democrat, we can’t be too assured that this voting block will last with us forever. I am grateful that I was able to meet with so many interested and engaged families this year. I won’t forget the message that I was given.

    1. johninPCFL November 24, 2012

      The article stated that a majority of Latinos felt abortion should be legal. Was your interview question about their personal preference or their view for legality? My wife, for instance, would not have one but feels she can’t judge personal circumstances, so they should be legal and available.

  7. Tom Moser November 24, 2012

    ” Charles Krauthammer, a noted expert on Latino culture,”


    1. mikemcl November 24, 2012

      Do you need every joke to be labelled?

  8. Dominick Vila November 24, 2012

    My heritage is Spanish and, in my opinion, the reason most Hispanics/Latinos rejected Mitt Romney and the GOP message had more to do with the vitriol that emanates from the Republican rank and file than religious and social issues. Most Hispanics/Latinos are Catholics, most oppose abortion, many find gay marriage offensive, and contrary to popular belief most rely on hard work to succeed. What made them vote for Barack Obama was, at least in part, the expressions of hatred voiced by so many Republicans throughout the campaign and during the past several years whenever the issue of illegal immigration was debated, their condescending attitude towards minorities, and the cynical use of tokens to project a semblance of inclusiveness where none exists. The problem was not Mitt Romney, as pathetic a candidate as he was, or core Republican values, but the message conveyed by so many Republicans, particularly Tea party members, that led Hispanics, Latinos and African Americans to conclude that voting Republican was like voting for their executioner.

    1. Michael Kollmorgen November 25, 2012

      Romney, the Republican Party and some conservative agendas has been using religion as a “glue” to cement minority groups support for their platforms for many years.

      Why is it, in many parts of major cities which are predominately latino/hispanic and extremely poor, you vote mostly Republican? It’s because of religion which you believe in, you use as the trump card in considering public policies.

      The Black Community in CAL. was swayed the same exact way when gay marriage was on the ballot. Proposition 8(?) probably would have passed if the Mormons, Republicans, Conservatives hadn’t of capitalized on deep seated fears, bigotries of people of color there.

      This is one of the things that is rarely talked about in minority communities – how the Republican Party along with very deep seated religious views sway your votes.

      So, in effect, when you (not specifically you) vote against an issue, especially one that is attempting to give other people more freedoms, you are enforcing your own bigotries onto another group of people. In the end, you are in effect, shooting yourselves in your own feet as well.

      This is how the Republican Party keeps itself in power, by playing one group of people against another group of people using religion.

      Divide and Conquer.

  9. commserver November 24, 2012

    What we are seeing what Ryan was saying: College education is liberalizing.

    Many more Hispanics are going to college. As such they are exposed to the diversity that they don’t necessarily have at home.

    As a result they are becoming more moderate in their views.

  10. Plznnn November 24, 2012

    Latinos are natural Conservative Republicans but by being promised everything plus Amnesty “AGAIN”, they become Democrats. They will soon find out as everyone else will, that our Country cannot sustain Millions upon Millions of more people, (of any nationality or race.) Most LEGAL Latinos are against Amnesty, because they followed our Countries Laws and came in like Immigrants must, to benefit America, not burden us by seeking benefits from OUR Federal Government.

  11. Baron Cormac November 24, 2012

    The myth of the Latino Republicans is the result of the broad brush stroke associated with the Florida Cuban community. Many of these folks were not born until LBJ was President, but most still blame JFK (and the rest of the Democrats by extension) for the failure of the Bay of Pigs to overthrow Fidel. Of course, the whole plan and timetable was developed in the closing days of the Eisenhower Administration. Kennedy only gave the Go-ahead. But, in the tradition of Democrats in the office, he admitted the failure himself (unlike Eisenhower, Hoover, Coolidge, or Harding for their errors).
    However, the Cubans are not the only Latino Community. You have a whole bunch of them in Puerto Rico that are American Citizens. The Republican’s problem is they have tried to ignore or marginalize the PR community, and pretty much drove them into the open arms of the Democrats. In the Southwest, you have a large Mexican Community that the Republicans welcomed as long as they were building things. Now that the money is gone, and the buildings have stopped going up, the Republicans are trying to kick them out, including those whose families have been here since the Southwest became part of the United States.
    So the Republicans problem with Hispanics is the way they have treated them. Except for the Cubans (who they can exploit against a non-existant Communist threat), they have either ingored or marginalized them. Once the Cubans realize they are only pawns to the anti-Communist faction of the Party, they, too, will leave. You think they need to be reminded that Fidel was originally recruited by the CIA to destabalize things in Cuba to make Batista more reliant on the US government? The problem was Batista was more of a coward than they realized and left when Fidel started looking stronger. Had this not happened, Fidel probably would have finished his Baseball career with either the Texas Rangers or the Milwaukee Twins and been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

  12. Fred Smith November 24, 2012

    Getting tired of the over analysis everywhere. They lost because they wanted to move the country backward and always will.

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.
    Quotation of Franklin D Roosevelt

  13. raulivan November 25, 2012

    You have to understand the social-racial undercurrents of Latino culture.Its white minority is not represented in the US notions as the large and most obvious latino majority is mestizo, indian-spanish or afro-Spanish. The white minority has for centuries exploited and abused the non white majority and was never trusted. The republican party mostly white is in latino perspective the party of abuse and exploitation. Get it the drift ?

  14. ORAXX November 25, 2012

    Not unless they’re very rich.

  15. onedonewong November 25, 2012

    when you offer illegals amnesty they vote democratic, lets not forget that over 6 million illegals voted absentee in this last election. Until voter ID becomes the law of the and these folks will continue to skew the elections


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