GOP Hispanic Outreach

Ken AshfordElection 2016, Immigration and XenophobiaLeave a Comment

Hispanics deserve candidates and a party that will fight for their vote. In working to earn Hispanics’ trust, though, Republicans have to remember that it’s not just about what we say, but how we say it. Our principles are sound, but we have to be thoughtful in how we discuss them. Too often, a candidate’s tone can turn off voters, promote divisiveness, and feed mischaracterizations of our party. So if your tone isn’t welcoming and inclusive, you’re doing it wrong.


So, my fellow Republicans, it’s up to us to keep Democrats from taking Hispanic voters for granted. It’s up to Republicans to tell our story and offer a better way. And it’s up to every one of us to engage with Hispanic voters. If you’re not doing that now, get with it.

Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, September 18, 2013.

Priebus, who just today called Trump a “net positive” for Republicans, isn’t the only one to pick up on this.  In 2004, George W. Bush won over 40 percent of the Latino vote. In 2012, Mitt Romney won 27 percent. Many leading Republican pundits (like Karl Rove) say that the Republican Party needs to win more Latino votes if it wants to win back the White House.

So how’s that going?

GOP Hispanic approval

The GOP frontrunner, by 11 points over the second placer, has a net -51 favorable-to-unfavorable.  What is killing The Donald, and by extension the GOP, is the immigration issue, and the almost daily slamming of “Mexican” immigrants.  You may wonder why, since immigrants don’t vote.

That’s true, but there are 3.3 million of these Latino eligible voters — and the majority of them are the children of immigrants. 57 percent of Latinos who’ll be eligible to vote for the first time in 2016, the study finds, have at least one immigrant parent.

By the way, the Dems are doing fine on this.

Democratic Hispanic approval

So obviously, this goes to the conventional wisdom that what is good for the GOP in the primaries is bad for them in the general.  Trump cannot win the Latino vote, and in fact, he may be energizing the Latino vote to come out and vote against him.

UPDATE:  File under “too little too late”….

Advocacy group National Hispanic Media Coalition says it was “quietly” contacted last week by the Trump Organization’s head of strategic development, proposing a peace-making meeting. Politico quotes coalition CEO Alex Nogales regarding three calls the advocacy group has received from the Trump camp—first, one threatening to sue, a second attempting to change what Trump had said about Mexicans and “the third time was ‘Let’s get together to talk so we can solve our differences.’”