GOP Hispanic Outreach is on Fire!

A new poll shows the current level of GOP support in the Hispanic community.

Or, not:

Fox News Latino reports on a new poll:

Despite growing disappointment in his handling of immigration issues, Latino voters favor President Barack Obama by six-to-one over any of the Republican presidential hopefuls, showed a Fox News Latino poll conducted under the direction of Latin Insights and released Monday.

[…]

the poll shows that the overwhelming choice among likely Latino voters is President Obama. In head-to-head match-ups none of the GOP candidates would garner more than 14 percent of the Latino vote come November, the poll said.

The poll was of likely voters with a sample size of 1200 and an MOE of +/- 2.7%.

How could this be?

Maybe stuff like this:

During the February Arizona debate, both Romney and Santorum backed controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and all the candidates said they favored a stricter immigration policy.

Romney said he looked to Arizona’s controversial approach to immigration as a model and added that if he was president he would stop all federal lawsuits against state laws such as Arizona’s SB 1070. He also reaffirmed his support for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and mandating the use of E-Verify to deter undocumented immigrants from finding employment.

Gingrich proposed during the debate the construction of a double fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and the deployment of thousands more Homeland Security Department employees to border areas. Santorum also said that he would beef up efforts to stop undocumented immigrants from entering the country.

The Republican Party has become the party of draconian immigration laws (e.g., Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia) which have the effect of making citizens who are darker hued or appear foreign the targets for paper checks.  It is party of building walls and mass deportations (and to heck with the impact on families—after all, its’ the law dontcha know).

A simple example:  remember the flack that Rick Perry took for his stance on in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants: GOP Debate: Rick Perry Booed Over Texas Immigration Law.

This is not only political foolishness, but it is a policy direction that doesn’t even make sense and that denies reality.*  It is a loser on numerous fronts, and yet the party and its base seem to want to double, if not triple, down on this direction for the party.

BTW, for what is it worth, note the following numbers for George W. Bush:

The Annenberg survey, which is run through the University of Pennsylvania, says its best estimate is that 41 percent of the Hispanic vote went for Bush over Democratic nominee John F. Kerry. It got the figure by analyzing its polls taken in the eight weeks before Election Day and two weeks after. (Only the later polls, obviously, could ask how someone actually voted. The earlier ones measured voter intentions.)

Among male Hispanics, Bush’s support rose from 34 percent in 2000 to 46 percent this time — the most notable finding of the Annenberg data. Bush support among women rose a statistically insignificant one percentage point, to 36 percent.

Source:  WaPo.

Bush was also the last president to be willing to engage in a discussion of immigration reform, but clearly was out of step with his party.

*A few things about what I mean by reality-denial (in no particular order):

1.  Even a fence will not stop illegal immigration.  It is a huge waste of money.  Fence can be climbed or tunneled under.  Further, just under half of illegal immigrants are visa-overstayers anyway.  So note the the allegedly “fiscal conservative” party that tis deathly worried about deficits is willing spend billions on a policy that is clearly inefficacious.

2.  You can’t deport 12 million people without creating a police state.

3.  There are substantial positive benefit to immigration, even illegal immigration.  This is not a case of just a net drain.  These include:  tax revenues (yes, illegal immigrants pay any number of taxes), labor, consumers, etc.

4.   These are human beings, many of which are more integrated into our society than simplistic law and order types want to admit.  They have American spouses and children.  Yes, they broke the law, but not only can laws be changed, not all law-breaking is of equal harm.  And consequences of policies matter (see, for example, the economic implications of the Alabama and Georgia laws on the agricultural industries).

(These are just a few off the top of my head).

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Campaign 2012, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. PD Shaw says:

    So which is it; there are draconian anti-illegal immigration laws in some states which have negative consequences on use of illegal labor, or there is nothing that can practically be done about it? Because it looks like you are taking both sides of the issue.

  2. Brummagem Joe says:

    The staggering number in this poll was Obama 70% Romney 14%. That is not a misprint. Now Romney will likely do better than this but not better than the mid 20’s. The Republicans have lost hispanics for a generation. The only place they have any real traction is Florida and that’s because of the Cuban dimension and even that’s fading as a factor. Strategically Republicans are stuck with the consequences of their identity politics strategy. They can’t make overtures to hispanics without losing the dominant nativist vote and the more they pander to the nativist vote as they all have done during the primary the more it alienates the hispanics.

  3. Brummagem Joe says:

    @PD Shaw:

    Because it looks like you are taking both sides of the issue.

    Do you have comprehension problems? He’s saying no such thing. In points 1-4 he’s essentially saying we need to come up with a plan to address realities.

  4. @PD Shaw: A few quick thoughts:

    1. There is a difference between the practical ability of some states to attempt draconian laws and laws at the national level that would be sufficiently draconian to accomplish the states’ goals.

    and

    2. The presence of draconian laws does not lead to a solution, not even in their limited application. You seem to be suggesting that the laws in question have solved the illegal immigration problems in AZ, AL and GA. This is not the case. It does create substantial problems, though: disrupting lives (and yes, causing some to flee those states) but it hardly means that there is no longer any illegal immigrants in AZ, et al., or that no more will come.

    A corollary to both of the above is those illegal immigrants (and in some cases legal immigrants or citizens) that have fled have simply moved to other states. The net effect on the national level is basically zero.

    So no, I am not trying to have it both way.

  5. Hey Norm says:

    @ SLT…
    I think you meant “en fuego”.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    It’s a beautiful poll.

    Hispanics were open to the GOP and the GOP kicked them in the teeth. Why did they kick them in the teeth? Because the GOP has made itself into a home for bigots. If you hate African-Americans, gays or Hispanics, the GOP is your political home. So no black votes, no Jewish votes, no gay votes, no Hispanic votes, and also no youth vote, no educated coastal white votes.

    It’s not even just that the GOP is the white people’s party. It’s the old, rural and stupid white people’s party. Great demographic there. Brilliant future! What corporation wouldn’t just kill to have that demographic?

  7. Hey Norm says:

    The Koch brothers have the old stupid white people market cornered.

  8. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Sobering statistic for the GOP, isn’t it?

    The Dems should not be taking this for granted, though. They tend to be the choice by default and then screw things up like voting down the Dream Act last year when they had the numbers to pass it. If the Dems actually had the courage to stand for their convictions like the GOP instead of spinelessly retreating over and over again, they really would sew up the Latino vote for a generation. Instead, it’s more of a placeholder if you ask me. The GOP brand right now is too poisoned, but perhaps not in the future if they learned from their mistakes.

  9. Gromitt Gunn says:

    There really isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said beyond “You reap what you sow.”

  10. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Probably the most disturbing irony here is that over the past decade the GOP has championed the likes of Mel Martinez, Miguel Estrada, Alberto Gonzales, Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, BIll Flores, Francisco Canseco and Brian Sandoval, not to mention long-term politicos such as Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, whereas the Democrats except for Obama’s nomination of Sotomayor and the token cabinet assignment given to Hilda Solis largely have tossed Latinos to the back of the bus. Yet despite all that the Latino demographic appears to be moving towards a lock-step Democrat voter bloc fueled by identity politics. Sad that is.

    As stated previously, however, you have to give the media and the Democrat Party credit, at least from the standpoint of Machiavellian power politics. The left has done an amazing job in portraying the GOP as anti-Latino, despite Latinos running for, winning and then holding statewide elected offices as Republicans during the same time frame.

  11. PD Shaw says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Illegal immigrants come to this country to work. It can be largely stopped by regulating the employer; something this country refuses to do either because of cynical exploitation of identity politics or the employer’s desire for cheap labor. While the state laws are not perfect, they show how illegal immigration could be reduced in scope and degree to that of the problem of slavery.

  12. DRS says:

    Tsar – that should be a lesson to the Republicans, although of course you don’t see it that way. If the Dems can acquire that level of support without doing much of anything to earn it, then the Republicans should REALLY be more careful of what they say!

  13. The Republican Party has become the party of draconian immigration laws

    I believe some of our friends nonetheless call these “open borders” 😉

  14. Neil Hudelson says:

    You guys are just toying with superdestroyer today, right?

  15. @Neil Hudelson:

    Caught me.

  16. JohnMcC says:

    It seems amazing that after the attacks of 9/11/01 we did not determine that we must know who is in our country. This determination would have implications for undocumented residents — they would have to be identified. Unless there is a strong, believable pledge that they will have (gasp!) amnesty they will not be identified. There are too many ways to hide.

    The anti-illegal ranters have guaranteed that there is a community of un-identified persons living among us where any enemy who fits among them will hide.

    Well done!!

  17. Hey Norm says:

    Tsar…
    Interesting how many of those names are Cuban-American. I don’t want to start a “thing”…but based on the Cubans I knew when I lived in Miami…they are only Hispanic when it is convienent to be Hispanic.

  18. Hey Norm says:

    Seriously? I got an “Unhelpful” for En Fuego?

  19. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    To reiterate what I said earlier: brown faces are no substitute for policy. Nor should it be. I’ll vote for white guys for the rest of my life if they offer policy I can back. I’d even vote for you if you did that Tsar.

  20. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @Hey Norm: @Hey Norm: Perhaps they didn’t appreciate you using “the language of the ghetto”, as Newt put it.

  21. Brummagem Joe says:

    @PD Shaw:

    While the state laws are not perfect, they show how illegal immigration could be reduced in scope and degree to that of the problem of slavery.

    Oh bwwwwwaaaaaahhhhhhh

  22. An Interested Party says:

    The GOP can have all the tokens it wants among Hispanics and African Americans, but as long as the party appears openly hostile to these groups with its collective nasty rhetoric and hostile policies, both of which seem targeted at these groups, the GOP will never get anymore than a token vote from Hispanics and African Americans…

  23. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Latino_in_Boston:

    If the Dems actually had the courage to stand for their convictions like the GOP instead of spinelessly retreating over and over again, they really would sew up the Latino vote for a generation.

    Dear boy, to be totally cynical about it, they HAVE ALREADY sewn up the latino vote for a generation. The longer this issue stays around the better it is for Dems.

  24. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    Probably the most disturbing irony here is that over the past decade the GOP has championed the likes of Mel Martinez, Miguel Estrada, Alberto Gonzales, Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, BIll Flores, Francisco Canseco and Brian Sandoval, not to mention long-term politicos such as Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,

    I know this genius has no idea that the NYT or the New Yorker are still being published but he seems to be able to come up with the names of a few Cuban Americans who get elected in Florida….what is it Nick?….Selective amnesia?

  25. anjin-san says:

    If the Dems actually had the courage

    Well, you kind of summed the problem up right there. Howard Dean has by far the most backbone of any prominent Democrat, and he was more or less exiled after he engineered a hat trick in the 2008 election. I just don’t get it.

  26. superdestroyer says:

    The idea that Bush received 40% of the Hispanic vote has been discredited many times. The easyiest way to show that Bush did not receive 40% is too look at the results in cities and counties that are overwhelmingly Hispanic. Bush did poorly in those areas and did not get anywhere near 40%. That would mean to make up the massive closes in heavily Hispanic areas, Bush would have had to receive more than 50% of the Hispanic vote in large urban areas.

    As soon as the Republicans realize that tBush did not get 40% of the vote in 2004 and actually did much worse in the down ticket races, then it will be easier for the Republicans to give up on Hispanic outreach.

    Remember, the entire time that Bush was governor of Texas, there was not one Hispanic Republican in the state house or senate and almost no elected Hispanic Republicans in the entire state.

  27. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    A group that has a 50% birth rate to single women, a double digit unemployment rate, and an educational achievement rate on par with blacks is not a group interested in a free market, smaller government, or individual responsibility.

    Such a group will be much more interested in government benefits, government goodies, and race-based government. And that is why Hispanic are wedded to the DEmocratic Party.

  28. Brummagem Joe says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The idea that Bush received 40% of the Hispanic vote has been discredited many times.

    Actually it hasn’t. By general consensus he got just under 40% in 2000 and 44% in 2004.

  29. Rob in CT says:

    Funny thing. Many people who previously benefitted from “government goodies” are now (at least economically) Conservatives.

    Why are such people now (at least economically) Conservatives? Simple: they have and they want to keep. Most of these people are, to my mind, actually Conservative (preserve the status quo), rather than Reactionary (those who pine for the 19th century). I have my own Conservative leanings in that I too wish to largely preserve the status-quo, with enough tweaks to make it sustainable. I’m no revolutionary. Why would I be? I’m doing great. I do care about others, yes. Some of my political positions are the result of that. But there is also a healthy dose of self-interest involved.

    So, how do you make Hispanics receptive to Conservatism? Figure out how to help them prosper, without going out of your way to insult and demean them.

    If you really believe that GOP policies result in economic growth and a rising tide that lifts all boats, then sell them on that. Of course, I think this is untrue, but YMMV.

    If all you’ve got is “DEPORT ABUELA!” then you’re screwed, yeah.

  30. Kylopod says:

    >By general consensus he got just under 40% in 2000 and 44% in 2004.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “general consensus.” It was recorded in exit polls.

    Of course, a lot of it had to do with Bush’s support from Cuban-Americans more than other Latino groups. But his moderate immigration policy certainly helped.

  31. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Kylopod:

    I’m not sure what you mean by “general consensus.” It was recorded in exit polls.

    Except that exit polls aren’t perfect, and some have challenged these numbers, which is why I said the general consensus was that the numbers were correct.

  32. superdestroyer says:

    The 44% was an overcount that was quickly discounted.
    http://www.mysterypollster.com/main/2004/12/that_rumored_hi.html

    Also, there is this from a peer-reviewed academic journal
    http://faculty.washington.edu/mbarreto/papers/2004vote.pdf

    We conclude that the pre-election
    data provide little evidence that President
    Bush received the 44% level of
    support from Latinos estimated by the
    2004 exit polls. We examined 10 such
    surveys and found Latino support averaging
    60% for Kerry and 32 percent for
    Bush—which is the traditional two-to-one
    ratio of support enjoyed by the
    Democratic Party.

    Once again, the Republicans cannnot lose something that it never really had. How does adding millions of addtional Hispanic voters who will vote against any conservative party at a 2 to 1 level help conservatives?

  33. @superdestroyer: I agree, actually, that one cannot go with the exit poll number (and the piece I linked above notes such, actually).

    However, even using the number you provided: I would note that 32% is more, and indeed, substantially more, than 17%.

    Indeed: even if we take your number and compare it to the poll, your argument fails because if the traditional ratio is 2:1 the poll indicates that they are losing some of that traditional support.

    And the fundamental point is: the GOP needs to be increasing, not diminishing the traditional ratio. @Rob in CT suggests, at least in thumbnail, the right and wrong way to do that. There are ways in which the GOP should be a good home for many hispanics, but the GOP keeps acting like they don’t want them.

    Indeed, @Tsar Nicholas II is right about the crux of the problem, but not in the way he intends:

    Yet despite all that the Latino demographic appears to be moving towards a lock-step Democrat voter bloc fueled by identity politics

    Yes, this is about identity politics, but not about Hispanics being locked into a Democratic identity. It is about the identity politics of the GOP base: which seems to want to be a white, southern party. This is not a formula for electoral success, and, further, is not as much about policy as it is about identity.

  34. superdestroyer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    How do you help a demographic group where 50% of children are born to single mothers prosper? Hoe do you help a group with such high high school drop out rates prosper?

    Of course limiting immigration and allowing payroll to climb would help many poor people. But all of the progressives keep telling the Republicans that such as idea is racist and that the Republicans should be support a plan to covert unlimited illegal immigration to unlimited legal immigration.

    How does allowing millions of illegal aliens to become citizens help a party that at best only gets 1/3 of their vote? How does it help middle class Americans to spend more money on ESL and aid to single mothers and less money of academic education in the public schools?

  35. @superdestroyer: If you want to understand why claims of racism are made, I suggest you look at your own argument which always assume that demographics are destiny.

  36. @superdestroyer:

    How do you help a demographic group where 50% of children are born to single mothers prosper?

    Are you suggesting that single parents cannot have conservative values? I think you need to think that one out.

    Also: you continually conflate “hispanics” with “illegal immigrants” and that is the GOP’s main problem at the moment and why the numbers are what they are.

  37. Rob in CT says:

    How do you help a demographic group where 50% of children are born to single mothers prosper?

    You apparently have no ideas on this front. The GOP doesn’t seem to have many either. AND THAT’S THE F*CKING PROBLEM. [side note: the Dems are hardly brilliant on this front. Such problems are tough nuts to crack, so it’s hard to look brilliant. Even so, surely the GOP ought to be able to out-think the Democrats, amirite?]

    Geez, Supe. Even if you somehow managed (at great expense, btw) to cut off the flow of illegal immigration *and* deport all illegal immigrants here now (again, at great expense), there would still be a huge population of hispanic Americans. They are here. They are Americans. What do you propose to do to win their votes?

    Same problem with African Americans. You don’t get to go back in time, slap the slaveholders & slavetraders around, and prevent the whole thing from happening. You don’t get to go back to the Reconstruction era and make it work. You don’t get to go back and prevent Jim Crow. You don’t get to go back and undo the New Deal or Great Society either, in case you think those were harmful. That all happened. WHAT NOW?

    You’ve got nothing, but whining.

  38. An Interested Party says:

    Yes, this is about identity politics, but not about Hispanics being locked into a Democratic identity. It is about the identity politics of the GOP base: which seems to want to be a white, southern party. This is not a formula for electoral success, and, further, is not as much about policy as it is about identity.

    This…a thousand times over, this…minorities haven’t migrated to the Democratic Party because they have been bribed with goodies…they have been actively pushed away from the GOP because of that party’s hostility towards them…

  39. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    when over 90% of elected Hispanics are Democrats and Hispanics have been voting at around the 75% rate for Democrats since Kennedy, there was little for the Repulbicans to push away.

    As long as the Democrats promise to tax the crap out of the Gringos and give the money to Hispanics (blacks, public sector employees, academics).

    When asking a group to learn English, pay taxes, and be treated like everyone else is considered racist, there is no hope for any conservative party in the U.S.

  40. Rob in CT says:

    Weeeeeeaaaaak. Just more whining.

    Hispanics pay taxes. Hispanics learn English. Hispanics are treated differently than Whites sometimes, but you seem to forget that much of the time, they’re treated worse (by law enforcement, for example).

    If Hispanics prosper, they will be pay “gringo” taxes (what an absurd construction you have there, btw). The only reason White people pay more now is that we have nearly all the wealth. Hayzeus Christo, man!

    http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/07/26/wealth-gaps-rise-to-record-highs-between-whites-blacks-hispanics/

    White median household wealth: $113,149
    Hispanic median household wealth: $6,325
    Black median household wealth: $5,677k

    That’s been exacerbated by the ’08 financial panic & recession, but it looked much the same in 2005. So yes, we poor put-upon gringoes pay more in taxes.

    The problems you see in hispanic and other minority communities are problems one sees in poor white communities too (hence Charles Murray’s recent freakout about the white working class). The challenge is figuring out how to find gainful employment (not just tread water employment – gainful employment) to more people. It’s a challenge neither party is meeting. The Dems are at least trying (and, as is often the case, failing). How about the GOP tries?

  41. @superdestroyer: “But all of the progressives keep telling the Republicans that such as idea is racist ”

    @superdestroyer: “As long as the Democrats promise to tax the crap out of the Gringos and give the money to Hispanics (blacks, public sector employees, academics).”

    Gee, I wonder why racism charges emerge?

  42. superdestroyer says:

    @Rob in CT:

    A couple of points:

    1. If Hispanics learn English, then why do I have to push “2” for English and why can’t the employees at McDonalds cannot understand English.

    2. How does giving government money to help people move up in the economic ladder produce conservative. In reality, it produces liberals who want to continue high taxes because they want the money to be spent of themselves. Besides, is there any data that shows at upper middle class Hispanics are more conservative. If California is any indication, Hispanics become more liberal as they become more affluent because they really begin to support affirmative action, government set asides, and quotas.

    3. Poor whites are less liberal than more blacks or Hispanics. Being hispanics is more correlated to voting Democratic than being poor is.

    In reality, it is much easier for the Democrats to say that they will help Hispanics by taxing the rich (which will be understood to mean whites) and give the money to the Hispanics.

  43. Rob in CT says:

    I didn’t see “give them government money” Supe. I said:

    If you really believe that GOP policies result in economic growth and a rising tide that lifts all boats, then sell them on that.

    So, if Conservative policies result in broadly-shared prosperity, those who experience that prosperity will be more receptive to the Conservative message.

    So the blueprint is clear:

    Step 1: enact Conservative policies (at the state level if you must, if this cannot be done at the Federal level due to dastardly Democrats).

    Step 2: Broadly-shared prosperity!

    Step 3: Reap the political reward (lots of votes, including more minority votes).

    Of course, I don’t believe that Conservative policies lead to broadly-shared prosperity, which is one of the reasons I’m not a Conservative. But you seem to believe. So, if you’re right and proper Conservative policies = prosperity for anyone willing to work hard, then the result will be prosperous non-whites as well as whites who are receptive to the Conservative message.