How the GOP Can Reclaim the Hispanic Vote

In a PajamasMedia blog entry, Ruben Navarrette, Jr. shares his insight and advice on how we can retake the Hispanic vote, a demographic that will likely be represented by one in every four voters by 2042.

Republicans need to re-brand their party and convince Hispanics they’re welcome. If they believe their ideas on education, economics, defense, trade, foreign policy, and other issues are superior, let them make that case to Hispanics. That doesn’t mean ditching their core principles, but it might mean changing their tone. It doesn’t mean alienating core voters, but it does means being more inclusive.

And it doesn’t mean giving up the party’s opposition to illegal immigration. Polling suggests that Hispanics will go along with enforcement measures that seem reasonable such as increasing the number of border patrol agents and giving them resources. The GOP doesn’t need to sign on to open borders. But it wouldn’t hurt to open a few minds within the party.

Specifically, there are five things that Republicans did which cost them Hispanic support.

  1. They made language and culture the issue rather than illegality, which irked U.S.-born Hispanics who might otherwise have stayed out of the fray;
  2. They didn’t condemn the racism in their ranks on the part of those who believe that Hispanic immigrants are inferior to the immigrants of old;
  3. They let the debate digress from one that was anti-illegal immigration to one that was anti-immigrant to, finally, one that was anti-Hispanic;
  4. They fell into the trap of offering simple solutions to what remains a complicated problem

; and
  5. They either assumed that Hispanics were not in play or that they could win some of those votes on the cheap with a spattering of Spanish ads.



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Filed under Election 2008, Immigration, Jeers, Republican Party

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