A USA Today story that highlighted voting preferences of Hispanic voters caught my eye yesterday. It’s definitely bad news for Mitt Romney, as Hispanic voters favor Obama over Romney 66%-25%. I originally caught wind of this story from Doug Mataconis, who points out that even though the margin of error in this type of poll is usually larger than it is in other polls, this gap between Obama and Romney should concern Republicans.
Romney needs the Hispanic vote, as there are key battleground states in the presidential election that have a large number of Hispanic voters. Republicans are no doubt scrambling to find a way to appeal to this demographic group, but their efforts are mostly in vain.
Obama may be a horrible president, but he’s a brilliant politician. By his recent decision to stop deporting young illegal immigrants, he gains favor with the Hispanic community while making those who oppose him seem racist and anti-family. That’s a pretty clever move.
On how Republicans should react to that decision from Obama, Ken Blackwell warns that the GOP is in danger of alienating the Hispanic community, a group from which Romney will need support of at least 35% if he hopes to beat Obama. Blackwell urges Republicans to focus on Obama’s abandoning of the Defense of Marriage Act as his contempt for the Rule of Law rather than focusing on immigration issues.
Says Blackwell, “If we choose marriage and life to show [Obama's] contempt for the Rule of Law, we will be taking a stance on grounds that will appeal to and not likely to alienate Hispanic voters.”
I’d agree that’s probably good advice for Republicans to follow because as I’ve said before, the Republican approach to immigration issues is rooted in racism. This problem isn’t just Romney’s; it’s a problem for the entire GOP. Why would Hispanic voters support a Party of people who make a racist policy against them a top concern? They shouldn’t. I know I wouldn’t.
Romney needs the Hispanic vote to win the election this year. He doesn’t need a majority of their votes, but he needs a large part of it. If he hopes to do that, he must be the leader that the GOP needs and start denouncing racist policy. Otherwise, Hispanic voters will do exactly what Obama expects, and we’ll continue to alienate a rapidly growing demographic group of voters.