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GOP Puts Latino Leaders on the Map

GOP Tent Just Got Bigger

In the 2010 midterm elections, Latino candidates won big. They scored major gains in all levels of government, and for the first time ever, three Latino candidates won top statewide office. It was a major triumph for one particular political party, the Republican Party. The GOP put up two Hispanic Governors, five Hispanic Congressmen, and one Hispanic Senator. It was an incredible week.

In Nevada, Republican Attorney General Brian Sandoval became the first Latino Governor in the history of their state. In New Mexico, Republican Attorney General Susanna Martinez became the first Latina Governor in U.S. history. In Washington, Republican Jaime Herrera became the first Latina Congresswoman in the state. In Idaho, Republican Raul Labrador became the first Latino Congressman in their state's history. And in Florida, Republican Marco Rubio is quickly becoming a rising star of the Republican Party.

The 2010 midterm election proved to be a Republican year. Republicans not only reclaimed the U.S. House of Representatives, they made serious advancements in diversifying their party leadership. This midterm, the Republican Party fully supported Latino candidates making some inroads with the Hispanic community despite a post-SB1070 political environment. But will the GOP follow through on their wins?

Time for a New Strategy

Data shows that the Hispanic community is growing at a faster rate than the rest of the U.S. populace. By 2020, Hispanics are estimated to make up 20% of the U.S. population. Similar projections show they will be a majority in Texas by the same year. If current voting trends remain the same and 65% of Latinos continue to vote Democrat, then it will introduce a problem for the GOP.

Texas is a reliable red state and has been for the past 30 years. Each election cycle, Texas awards the GOP with 34 electoral votes. If the GOP were to lose Texas, it would deliver a fatal wound to the party. The GOP must adapt. If there is anything that shows the politics of yesteryear will no longer work, let it be the Senate election of Nevada.

Sharron Angle, a Tea Party candidate, chose to alienate Nevada's Hispanic community in an attempt to shore up her conservative base. Angle spent millions in ads trying to characterize Majority Leader Harry Reid as a sympathizer to illegal immigration. And this wouldn't have been a bad election strategy if she didn't featured all Hispanics as mischievous hoodlums.

Nevada's Hispanic community wasn't pleased; they punished her severely. Although Hispanic voters vote 65% of the time with Democrats, in Nevada they voted 90% for Harry Reid. Angle lost the election by a 6% vote margin. If she had just toned it down on the anti-immigrant talk, the voters of Nevada could have sent a loud and clear message to Washington.

Conclusion

Despite a post-SB1070 world, Republicans have made gains in the Hispanic community. Pew Research showed that 64% of Latinos voted for Democrat candidates last week. And although that seems high, it is a 5% drop from the 2006 election. With fewer Latinos voting Democrat and more Latino leaders under the GOP banner, Republicans have the winds at their back. If they make illegal immigration a primary focus, they will squander their gains and forfeit the keys of the kingdom to Democrats.

Comments (6)
  • Frank Tamel

    "With less Latinos voting Democrat and more Latino leaders under the GOP banner, Republicans have the winds at their back." The word is "fewer". Your creative writing teacher is not pleased.

  • Aaron M. Rodriguez

    Good catch. Let's hope for fewer of those. :-)

  • Ken Van Doren  - A multi-racial, multi-cultural future

    Might be splitting hairs, but I am fairly sure that the GOP adaptation should be to reach out to the Hispanic, and yes, black communities. If Republicans bring the message that freedom =opportunity, and with opportunity, you do not need to be dependent upon a "rich uncle" who is now going broke, that strength and independence are more desirable than weakness and dependency, then I believe Republicans will be able to maintain majorities. among the minorities. Just gotta control those "country club" airs.

  • Aaron M. Rodriguez

    One good way of doing that is promoting School Choice. By doing that, Republicans have an opportunity to shed their country club image and do something perceived as a grassroots effort to help out poor communities.

  • Ken Van Doren

    Also, I noticed that the Carpenter/Kzrnich State Senate race in what is probably the most Hispanic neighborhood in Milwaukee attracted fewer voters than most assembly districts. So obviously, Hispanics are not voting in proportion to there percentage of the population.

  • HUMAN  - Politics at it's Core Level

    Ken Van Doren - A multi-racial, multi-cultural future
    Might be splitting hairs, but I am fairly sure that the GOP adaptation should be to reach out to the Hispanic, and yes, black communities. If Republicans bring the message that freedom =opportunity, and with opportunity, you do not need to be dependent upon a "rich uncle" who is now going broke, that strength and independence are more desirable than weakness and dependency, then I believe Republicans will be able to maintain majorities. among the minorities. Just gotta control those "country club" airs.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Black Community is going to vote Democrat "No matter what".
    The Hispanic Community is what saved Reid, and Obama from losing the Senate.

    The Black Community HAS already tried to join with the Hispanic Community UNDER African American Control.

    As a former Democrat; I am very well aware in how the democrats kicked off the ENTIRE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION Debate.

    I am a FORMER Democrat for a reason. Unions getting online and posting as Republicans [after all we are on the internet, and you CAN be whom ever you want to be].

    There is not a chance in this life time that the Republicans can convince the Hispanic Community that the Republicans are for Hispanics "the Democrats used the Internet very well".

    I REALLY DON'T LIKE the INTERNET. Not on much anymore.

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Hispanics for School Choice