Thursday, March 31, 2011


Via the Huffington Post we're introduced to yet another survey that shows how the Republican Party has lost the Latino vote. The interesting thing is that the survey posted questions in a way that tried to present the GOP in a favorable light - as if they have no history of race-baiting Latinos.

Still, it appears that Latinos in California simply aren't buying into the GOP's fake family values, fear-mongering, political style. Here's why:

* Republicans did little to condemn former California Governor Pete Wilson's efforts to criminalize Latinos with Proposition 187.
* The Republican Party has done even less to disassociate itself from the race-baiting efforts led by nativist groups like FAIR, CIS, and NumbersUSA.
* The Republican Party stood by and did nothing when Arizona passed legislation that effectively encourages racial profiling of Latinos by law enforcement officers. Let's face it, only Latino looking people (whatever that means) will be targeted for ID checks.
* The Republican Party effectively did nothing when the GOP in Nevada came out with ads telling Latinos NOT to vote.

But it's not just the disingenuous and race-baiting policies floated by GOP lawmakers that keeps Latinos from voting Republican. Their media overlords - which include Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck - have donned hi-tech hoods and are running around like that demented Cartman character on South Park, trying to get their base riled up over Latinos in general.

Moreover, as I pointed out here, the GOP has been pursuing the functional equivalent of (Richard Nixon's) "Southern Strategy 2.0" ever since 9/11, and energized their efforts after the economy collapsed in 2008. Scaring the bejesus out of White America by demonizing Muslims, questioning the legitimacy of America's first black president, pushing for racial profiling, and then villifying Mexicans has had quite an impact on people of color, especially in California.

Consider the following from March 12-14 survey conducted by Republican pollsters, who tried to frame the issues in the best possible terms for the GOP:

* Latino voters in California now hold "widely negative" views about the Republican party.

* Latino voters tend to view GOP candidates as overly conservative and distrust Republican views on immigration.

* Only 26 percent of Latinos polled viewed Republicans favorably, while 62 percent had a favorable view of Democrats.

* Asked whether Republicans should “stick to core values and nominate true Conservatives,” only 22 percent of Latino voters agreed.

* Approximately one-third of Latino voters say they will never vote for a Republican.

Asked who they trusted on immigration reform, 57 percent of Latino voters chose Democrats, while only 21 percent sided with Republicans. Worse for the more rabid members in the GOP, a "pathway to citizenship" was favored by 67 percent of the Latinos surveyed.

This is not good news for the Party of "Your Papers, Please ..." Why? Because as Lucia Graves from Huffington Post pointed out, Latinos made up 22 percent of the California electorate in the 2010 midterm elections (up from about 10 percent in 1990).

Worse for the GOP is that Latinos cast 1.7 million votes statewide, an increase of 300,000 votes from the 2008 presidential election.

In the end, the GOP's long history of not standing up to race-baiting, "Your papers, please ..." and the demonization of Latinos wasn't good for Meg Whitman in California's 2010 gubernatorial race. Jerry Brown ended up beating her by almost 30 points among Latino voters, instead of the projected/hoped for 14 points.

The current crop of GOP presidential hopefuls aren't going to do anything to correct this.

- Mark 

No comments: