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Sunday, July 12, 2015

The relative unimportance of the all important Hispanic vote

Okay let's hear it now. In unison. Donald Trump is doing irreparable damage to the Republican brand. The Republicans will never carry the all important Latino vote and the Republican Party will never win another national election.. Wrong. Thank God for Trump. While most of us would be queasy seeing the Donald at the top of the ticket let alone as president he is successfully challenging a widely article of faith in the national media and the Republican establishment namely that securing the border is not something Republicans can do. The things that the Jeb Bush Republicans cannot do would be enough to fill a small book and chapter one of that book should be "Turn Out the Party's Base". I for one, will not vote in an election where the choices are Bush / Clinton and I am not alone in that conviction. Governor Rick Perry has demonstrated his willingness to secure the border by sending national guard troops to the border and his successor Governor Greg Abbott carried 44% of the Latino vote in Texas. Perry's position that immigration reform is a political impossibility until the border is secured is plausible at least to me.
No, neither Rick Perry nor Donald Trump could carry the Latino vote in California nor could Ronald Reagan even if he where to be resurrected for that sole purpose but they would not lose the white vote by pandering to the left. Whoever the Republicans nominate seems destined to carry Texas and Florida while losing in California, New York and Illinois. I'll explore the "blue wall" myth in another post but suffice it to say the importance of the Hispanic vote is deliberately over blown by the pollsters hired by pro amnesty Republicans.
Sample this insight from Roll Call
Nearly a dozen Republican pollsters gathered Wednesday morning for a long-scheduled event to deliver survey results funded by a lobbying effort for the House to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul — but they were forced to reconcile their findings with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary defeat Tuesday night.
And what message did the pollsters have for shocked Republicans who were reeling from Cantor's loss?
In fact, by a 70 percent to 21 percent margin, Republican voters would support a candidate in favor of the immigration plan over a candidate who opposed it.
Speaking of cognitive dissonance! This was the morning after a lowly econ professor from Randolph-Macon College had humbled the exalted Eric Cantor in the upset of the decade running on an anti amnesty platform. Dave Brat raised $207,000 to Eric Cantor's $5.4 million. He got no help from the quickly vanishing and squishy on amnesty, Tea Party Express and Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots was too busy doing God's work elsewhere to lend Brat a hand but against all odds Brat and the Richmond Tea Party won. What did the Republican pollsters think of that?
“I’m not being entirely dismissive of it in the Cantor case, I would just suggest to you that it’s probably too pat an answer to say that immigration played a big role in it,” Lerner said. “Our data here does suggest that Republican candidates who support the immigration reform issue properly have relatively little to fear in Republican primaries.”
That must of made Cantor feel better.
There is some inferential evidence to suggest that only freshly naturalized immigrants are reliable Democratic voters. The longer Hispanics are in the country the less identity politics matter. Although immigration was not a factor in the race Wendy Davis, the lady with the pink sneakers, lost 4 predominately Mexican counties in the Texas Democratic primary to Renaldo Madrigal who spent $0 to her $26,000. All Madrigal did was to make pro life speeches in each of the counties he won. The Hispanic vote is not as predictable as the pollsters believe and exactly how upset second generation Mexicans are with Trump is not known but it should be obvious to even Jeb Bush that white voters are excited and extremely motivated.

How long will the Republican Party's infatuation with a man who has zero political accomplishments and relies solely on bluster last? Who knows? In Chris Christie's case it lasted longer than four years but that was without opposition. The candidates with the most to lose are Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio both of whom are more or less committed to some measure of amnesty packaged as reasonable and compassionate acceptance. It would be my guess that only one of them survives the Florida primary which is early in the primary season. By that time some of Trump's evolving positions on abortion, the many lawsuits his companies have been involved in, and his three marriages will make the base less accepting of his eccentricity. Ted Cruz and Rick Perry have consistently held strong anti amnesty positions without the bombastic rhetoric. Scott Walker's position seems to have changed to conform to the reality of running in some very red states.
There are a host of other issues from Obamacare to ISIS from Common Core to tax reform that do not lend themselves to single line solutions and the debates will winnow out the light weights pretty quickly. Republican voter have not been waiting breathlessly for Rick Santorum or John Kasich. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina are quality people but like Trump, amateurs. No one knows what issue will be foremost on the voters' minds when the actual elections begin. In the meantime just relax and enjoy the greatest show since Sarah Palin's speech at the 2008 Republican convention and let Jeb Bush and the pollsters and pundits worry about the party's brand.

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