Hispanics alone do not solve the Republicans’ problems

Great post from Nate Cohn about how even if Republicans could win back many Hispanics by dint of immigration reform, it would take a whole lot and it’s likely far from enough:

Certainly, Republicans need to improve with Latino voters, and quickly. The Latino share of the electorate is poised to increase incrementally in every election for the foreseeable future, raising the GOP’s burden with Hispanics each year. Romney’s performance among Latino voters was abysmal, and it wasn’t helped by his stance on immigration reform. But the immigration explanation for Romney’s defeat isn’t quite as good as it sounds. As mentioned over the last few days, the GOP also fell short of their benchmarks with rural Midwesterners, voters in well-educated and affluent suburbs, and African Americans. Hispanic voters were just one of many components of Obama’s victory, not an overriding factor. The GOP will have miscalculated the breadth of their challenge if they adopt immigration reform as their one-plank plan for recapturing the White House in 2016

The numbers illustrate the folly of relying too much on a Latino turnaround to produce a Republican victory. Obama leads the national popular vote by about 3 points, but the exit polls indicate that Hispanics represented just 10 percent of the electorate. Finding 3 points worth of gains in 10 percent of the electorate is extraordinarily challenging: for Republicans to win the popular vote by means of Hispanics alone, they’d need to gain a net-30 points among Latino voters, reducing Obama’s 44 point lead to just 14 points. While there’s nothing wrong with the GOP aiming high for 2016, it’s very difficult to imagine Democrats falling beneath 60 percent of the Hispanic vote in a competitive national race. Republicans will need to compliment improvements among Hispanics with plenty of gains among other demographic groups.

And the importance of the Hispanic vote is diminished by the Electoral College. While Hispanic voters were truly decisive in Florida, Latinos are inefficiently concentrated in non-competitive states, like Texas and California. In many battleground states, the Hispanic vote plays a vanishingly small role…

Here’s a simple way of looking at it: if Hispanics swing 20 points in the GOP’s direction in every swing state, Obama would have won the Electoral College by a 303-235 margin. While losses among Hispanics would cost Obama his narrow win in Florida, even a net-20 point GOP gain wouldn’t swing Colorado or Nevada. Even if it did, Obama would have still won through either Virginia or Ohio…

The Republicans have a Hispanic problem. But they also have a problem with young voters, African Americans, affluent suburbs, and the rural Midwest. A winning GOP coalition in 2016 will involve gains with each of these groups, not just one. And if Republicans assume that a quick flip flop on immigration reform will produce massive gains among Hispanics, they’ll probably be disappointed.

Short version: sorry, Charles Krauthammer.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to Hispanics alone do not solve the Republicans’ problems

  1. Benito says:

    GOP – You Reaped what you sowed!

    We had a decisive re-election of our President due, in part, to the majority of Latin America US Citizens voted for him and not the GOP.

    I think back to the May Day March or what some called a day without an immigrant and all the hate and disparaging name calling from the GOP Tea Baggers and the far conservative religious right (Did we see the GOP leadership try to stop it?, no, they thought this meant votes for them). I saw children, parents and grand parents together in solidarity, my people the working class, they may not be sophisticated but they got the message heard. In the demonstrations I saw our beloved “Stars and Stripes” flag, the flag from Mexico and some flags from other countries (not many complaints about these flags). I saw the flags being a sign of solidarity as when I see German flags flying during October Fest and Ireland Flags flying during St. Patrick’s Day. From publish reports the demonstrations included both US citizens and those without legal residency. This brought me a smile because I always enjoy seeing brothers helping brothers.

    That day and now our election day reminded me of a parable from the good book where a Levite and Priest come upon a man who fell among thieves and they both individually passed by and didn’t stop to help him. Finally a man of another race came by, he got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy and got down with the injured man, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the “thou,” and to be concerned about his brother.

    You see, the Levite and the Priest were afraid, they asked themselves, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?”

    But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

    That’s the question before us back on May Day and it continued on to election day. The question is not, “If I stop to help the un -documented workers in need, what will happen to me?” The question is, “If I do not stop to help the un-documented workers, what will happen to him or her?” That’s was always the question.

    God bless all my brothers and sister that stood side by side with our brothers and sisters in need on May Day, on Election Day and on all days to come!

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