Latinos Are Not Down With the GOP
Staking out a position on immigration well to the right of Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry hasn't done Mitt Romney any favors with Latinos, according to a new survey from the Pew Hispanic Center. Let's remember that Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 despite(pdf) getting 32% of the Latino vote, and he barely won the Electoral College in 2004 despite (pdf) getting 44% of the Latino vote. When John McCain only mustered 31% of the Latino vote in 2008, his campaign was crushed. A Republican can no longer hope to win less than a third of the Latino vote and still scrape their way into the White House. Those days are over. So, how is Romney doing?
President Obama holds a wide lead among Hispanic voters when matched against potential Republican challengers, even as widespread opposition to his administration’s stepped-up deportation policies act as a drag on his approval ratings among these voters, according to a new poll.
The survey, conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, revealed a dramatic general election weakness for Republicans among an increasingly influential voting bloc – with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry each winning less than one-fourth of the Hispanic vote in hypothetical matchups against Obama.
Obama leads Romney 68-23 and Perry 69-23 among Hispanic voters, with an error margin of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points for the voter sample.
Twenty-three percent isn't going to get it done. And the numbers would be considerably worse if the Obama administration were not deporting 400,000 Latino immigrants a year. That aggressive policy is tearing apart families and hurting Obama's standing in the Latino community. But the Republicans are far from being able to capitalize on this weakness. They do everything they can to make sure Latinos know that they aren't welcome in this country, whether they're here legally or not. Mitt Romney may have hired undocumented Mexicans to mow his lawn, but he's campaigning on a much bigger deportation program.