Skip to comments.A Cautionary Note for GOP in Tuesday's Election
Posted on 11/05/2010 8:20:29 AM PDT by Kaslin
Tuesday was a great night for Republicans, but it would have been better yet had Sen. Harry Reid gone down to defeat. And while many analysts have debated the role the tea party played in a few high-profile Republican losses on Election Day, including that of Reid's opponent Sharron Angle, the real story is what happened with the Hispanic vote.
Hispanics made up 18 percent of those voting in the Nevada election -- a much larger than average showing in a non-presidential election. Had Angle won as large a share of Hispanics as did the successful Republican gubernatorial candidate, Brian Sandoval, she'd be Senator-elect Angle today. Instead, she chose to engage in illegal-immigrant bashing as her theme in the last days of the election, with reprehensible ads that depicted illegal immigrants as stealing jobs from Nevadans and terrorizing families as violent gang members.
Republicans faced a similar problem in Colorado, where Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett managed to squeak to victory over his Republican challenger Ken Buck. In this race, however, it was less Buck's direct missteps on the immigration issue that cost him the race. Buck's problem was former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo's presence on the ballot as an Independent running for governor.
Tancredo is the bete noire of illegal immigration and the prospect that he might actually win the governorship -- he polled second in the race, well ahead of Republican Dan Maes -- brought out a big Hispanic vote. In their get-out-the-vote efforts, Democrats targeted nearly 90,000 Hispanic voters who only sporadically vote in non-presidential elections, and exit polls suggest the efforts paid off.
Angle won less than 10 percent of Hispanic votes and Beck less than 20 percent. Hispanics generally vote Democratic -- but they are not monolithic voters similar to African-Americans. In six of the presidential elections since 1972, Hispanics have given Republican candidates 30 percent or more of their votes. Republicans do not have to win a majority of Hispanic votes, even in heavily Hispanic states -- but they cannot totally alienate Hispanic voters in those states either. And much of the difference has to do with tone.
Most Americans -- including most Hispanics -- want control of our borders. They don't want people -- or worse, drugs -- flowing into the country through porous borders. But it is possible to run tough-on-illegal-immigration campaigns without resorting to demonizing all illegal immigrants as criminals and welfare cheats. Republican Governor-elect Susana Martinez managed to do so to win in New Mexico, as did Governor-elect Sandoval, and Florida Senator-elect Marco Rubio. Although all three are Hispanics, their positions, not their ethnicity, mattered most for how they fared.
Martinez promised to repeal New Mexico's current law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses and ran on her record as a border-county prosecutor who targeted the Mexican drug cartels. But she did not feel it necessary to accuse illegal aliens of stealing jobs or run ads like Angle's in which all the Hispanics pictured were tattooed thugs.
Only 8 percent of voters Tuesday said that illegal immigration was the most important issue in the campaign, according to exit polls. And even in Arizona, where anti-illegal immigration sentiment is highest in the nation, two GOP challengers who made the issue the centerpiece of their campaigns went down to defeat.
The lesson for the Republicans should be to tamp down the rhetoric and get serious about fixing the immigration mess. If Republicans want to win the presidency in 2012, they're going to need to carry heavily Hispanic states like Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada, which went for Barack Obama in 2008. Republicans now have a new slew of Hispanic office holders who could help lead the way by advocating market-based legal immigration reform coupled with strong border enforcement.
But the GOP may instead follow the siren call of anti-immigrant groups like the Center for Immigration Studies, whose director has touted the election results as producing at least 50 more votes against increasing legal immigration. If the Republican Party becomes the anti- legal immigration party, it can write off any hope of ever winning back Hispanic voters -- and that could mean writing off its chances to recapture the White House in 2012.
How many of the Hispanics who voted did so legally? That is the real question that needs to be asked.
And here come the catcalls for moderation, only 2 days later.
Compromise is not on the table as far as I’m concerned.
Oh, boy...popcorn time if this thread takes off!
Seal off Nevada and let it DIE! Boycott Harrah’s forever.
Chavez is a pro-amnesty supporter.
1) The less than 10% figure has been debunked
2) Chavez must have Glenn Beck on the brain
Angle's immigration ads and statements on them were moronic, though. Oh, no, those people crossing that border fence aren't Hispanic, maybe they're Canadian invaders. C'mon.
I was one of those 10% of hispanics that voted for Angle. You said it Linda, her positions, not her ethnicity were what got my vote. As to Governor-elect Sandoval, I pray his experience as a former judge gives him the wisdom of Solomon. Word is he sees himself as Presidential timber. I pray he doesn’t turn out to be another mega-RINO.
No interest in Chavez’s self-serving take on this or any other subject.
“demonizing all illegal immigrants as criminals”
Engle might have won if the country-club wing of the Republican establishment has supported her instead of working to undercut. If the demographics are correct, it shows that a crack-down on illegals is overdue in order to protect the republic. This is not the time to sound the retreat of compromise, but to repel the invaders and seal the borders.
Mexicans are not Americans. No amount of ass kissing is going to do anything. They have their own priorities, and they do not include a strong and sovereign America. Their political heritage is corrupt, socialist big government. That is what they are used to, and that is what they are bringing about here in the southwest.
Demography is destiny. The only hope is to shut down immigration and demand strict enforcement of legal employment.
they looked asian to me
Legal, Hispanic citizens should be Republican votes given their basic values. The fact that the great majority of them are not indicates that Republicans are screwing up. It’s really that simple. Until Republicans learn to separate the issues of illegal aliens and legal immigrants, we will continue to lose votes we should naturally have.
Hannity’s a good example. After a typical 3-5 minute rant that begins with the issue of illegal aliens, he ends up sounding like he’s against all Hispanic immigration, legal or otherwise. Then someone calls him on it and he proclaims that he’s only against illegal immigrants. But by that time any Hispanic listener has long since given up on him.
For starters, we should stop using the phrase “illegal immigrants.” They’re illegal aliens. We need to reserve the “immigrant” label for those who are here legally, whether as naturalized citizens or with green cards. The rest are illegal aliens. (going off to pop the popcorn now...)
Kissing Mexican ass will NEVER work.
Halt non-European immigration for five years and things will improve drastically.
“How many of the Hispanics who voted did so legally? That is the real question that needs to be asked.”
And the answer is that 99.999% - 100% of Hispanics who voted did so legally. Assuming hispanic voters are illegals is exactly the attitude that drives them to vote Democrat.
“Angle won less than 10 percent of Hispanic votes and Beck less than 20 percent. Hispanics generally vote Democratic — but they are not monolithic voters”
80% or higher is “not monolithic”?
Who’s kidding whom here?
What good is one Hispanic vote when four more vote AGAINST YOU?
I would rather lose 100% of the “Hispanic vote” to a good conservative candidate supporting traditional European-based values and culture, than garner 20% of that vote to a mish-mash candidate who supports amnesty.
Notice how Chavez also subtly “plays the race card” to make her example: “not monolithic voters similar to African-Americans”.
Wrong, Linda. Your own example illustrates EXACTLY why Hispanics are indeed “monolithic voters”. The reality that they are not quite as totally “race-based” as are blacks doesn’t change the reality that they [largely] vote as a block.
I don’t expect to see much, if any, change in the voting patterns of Hispanics in the future. If anything, I expect them to become _more_ liberal in their voting patterns, for studies indicate that the children of newly-immigrated Hispanics - particularly illegals - tend to do less well than their parents, due to lack of a work ethic and poor performance in school.
Ms. Chavez is yet one more milquetoast Republican who has swallowed the “diversity pill” and honestly (yet foolishly) believes that ANY newcomer to this country can be persuaded to embrace “Republican” (she would probably never say “conservative”) values if offered the chance.
That’s a beautiful dream.
But that’s _all_ that it is — a dream.
“For starters, we should stop using the phrase illegal immigrants. Theyre illegal aliens. We need to reserve the immigrant label for those who are here legally, whether as naturalized citizens or with green cards. “
Yes, the media does that constantly and baits the traps... calling illegal aliens “immigrants” and fuzzing the line.
Of COURSE immigrants are going to vote against you if you are ‘anti-immigrant’.
we need to be FOR a legal immigration system that works, and that includes having a system that doesn’t allow people to come here and stay here illegally.