Earlier this week, I told you how the Republican Party was leaving votes on the table with its stiff arm in policy and tone toward African Americans, Hispanics and gays. Well, results of a survey conducted last month by Latino Decisions put the peril and opportunity for the GOP in stark relief with new data.
During his 2004 reelection, President George W. Bush snagged 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. A high-water mark. Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, received 31 percent. Mitt Romney, who coined the problematic concept of “self-deportation,” mustered 27 percent, a 17 percentage-point drop from Bush.
The following chart from Latino Decisions shows the opportunity for Republicans to win back Hispanic voters who pulled the lever for President Obama.
Sixty-one percent of Latino Obama voters said they would likely consider voting for a pro-immigration Republican running against an anti-citizenship Democrat. Just working to pass comprehensive immigration reform could be a benefit to the GOP. If the party took a leadership role, 43 percent said they would be likely to consider voting Republican. And if Republicans work with Democrats, 26 percent of Hispanic Obama voters would consider voting Republican.
The following chart is a red alert for the GOP. It shows the danger of lost support among Latino Republicans if there is continued inaction on immigration reform or a continued perception of hostility toward Hispanics.
Forty percent of Republican Latinos “disapprove” of their party’s stance on immigration, and 41 percent of them think their party is either “ignoring or being hostile” to Hispanics. If the GOP blocks reform, 33 percent of Latino Republican voters said they would be “less likely to vote” for the party. If Democrats take the lead on immigration reform, 32 percent of those voters said they would be “more likely to vote Democratic.”
In its autopsy of the Republican Party’s failed showing in the 2012 elections, the “Growth and Opportunity Project” wrote, “In essence, Hispanic voters tell us our Party’s position on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we are meeting them with a welcome mat or a closed door.” These charts from Latino Decisions back up that anecdotal evidence with cold, hard data.
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