Democrats are losing Latinos but GOP has no clue how to keep them

Recently, Democrats have done a spectacular job of driving away Latino voters and pushing them into Republican arms.

Still, Republicans don’t have the best idea of ​​how to keep these people. Latinos are a tribe that most Republicans don’t think about, don’t care about, or don’t know much about.

While Democrats are stuck in a model of being white and white, most Republicans live in a whiter and whiter world.

On the doorstep of midterm elections 2022, many of the country’s 62 million Latinos are distasteful with both parties. America’s largest minority group is also one of the rapidly growing divisions of the electorate, and a lot of them seem ready to mark their ballots as “None of the above”.

In a recent poll of Axios-Ipsos, 46% of Latinos support Democrats while only 23% choose Republicans when asked which party better represents their concerns. The same poll found that 40% of Latinos feel the Democrats take their support for granted, and 51% say the same about the Republican Party.

Did you catch that? Many Latinos feel more taken for granted by Republicans (who are not supported by them) than by Democrats (who do).

Many Latinos remain skeptical of Republicans, and they think, with good reason, that the party’s outreach is spurious and fleeting. With a few notable blue moon exceptions – Ronald Reagan in 1984, George W. Bush in 2004 – the GOP has spent the past 60 years keeping Latinos from telling the time of day.

Now, when Republicans make even the slightest encroachment on Latinos, they remain suspicious. For Latinos, hard work is sacred. Many of us don’t respect the Republican party, or see the GOP as a permanent home, because we know the party has made no effort to earn our support – as opposed to just inheriting it. because Democrats are idiots.

However, for the Republicans, who longed for a greater share of the Latino vote, all was not lost. They have three saving graces.

First, they are pro-business, and the message of lower taxes and less regulation will resonate with a population full of entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Second, though the Republican Party’s hard line on social issues – including its pro-life fervor over abortion – may scare white women in the suburbs. fear, but that doesn’t affect the largely Catholic community.

And third, Republicans don’t need Latinos to officially change their party registration, just let Latinos vote now and then for the occasional Republican candidate who isn’t a lunatic. .

Republicans also have one last thing for them: the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party’s strategy on how to lose the Latino vote is as follows: Ignore familiar issues that concern Latinos such as education, jobs and the economy and focus instead on issues that concern Latinos. Topics they don’t care about as much as race theory matters, climate change and punishing Trump for the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. Vote for Latinos without joining the community and ask for their support. Support Trump with Biden’s immigration policy to appease “anxious” suburban white voters.

That will do. Hooray, Democrats.

Still, Latino flirting with the GOP won’t last – maybe not even until the next election – if Republicans don’t figure out how to keep those Latino voters.

And Donald Trump’s party — and his three dwarfs, Govs. Greg Abbott in Texas, Ron DeSantis in Florida, and Doug Ducey in Arizona — are out in its depths.

White Republicans are getting burned out of the “race” talk, and buzzwords like “incorporate” seem more likely to scare Latinos by hardening their stance. them about hot button issues.

Cliff Young, Ipsos president of the American Public Service, talks about the poll his company ran with Axios. pushed them away from the Republicans.”

Perhaps this was to be expected. Political parties are creatures of habit that do not change who or what they are.

My grandfather, Samuel, was a tejano Stetson cowboy hat fan. Born a United States citizen in Goliad, Texas, he had the right to vote during his lifetime. In fact, he probably would have cast more votes if it weren’t for the illegal poll tax that demands a day to exercise the privilege. He never saw GOP in his corner.

“The Republican Party is the party of los ricos (rich man),” he once told me.

All these years later, that’s still true. The Democratic Party is no longer really the party of the poor and the working class. But the Republican Party is still the party of the rich. Their base is comprised of wealthy whites who think tax cuts and loosening of gun laws will fix everything.

The GOP hopes it can find enough Latinos to think the same way. It will find a few, but not many. It will increase the bounty if it is willing to change a bit, soften the edges, be less threatening and more approachable.

Above all, Republicans need to be careful not to repeat the mistakes that Democrats have made.

When large numbers of legal and illegal immigrants from Latin America began making their way to the United States in the 1990s, in part due to trade imbalances stemming from the North American Free Trade Agreement, Republicans succumbed to nativism and imposed total restrictions. That sent Latinos — nearly half of whom voted for Reagan in 1984 — back into the arms of Democrats, the pro-union faction that was also anti-immigrant. In any case, once Latino voters were firmly in their hands, Democrats quickly forgot about them and took their outreach elsewhere.

That has created an opportunity that some believe the GOP is not yet ready to seize.

That’s the view of Chris Roman, founder of Roman Communications Group LLC, a Las Vegas-based marketing and consulting firm that specializes in helping companies and organizations reach Latinos in English and Spanish. .

“I think Republicans will squander this opportunity. I really do,” said Roman. “They didn’t collect beyond the usual suspects, the Latinos had to face that they worked on a number of campaigns.”

He wants a bigger investment, starting with personnel.

“I don’t see Latinos in senior positions in the Republican Party,” Roman said. “The party doesn’t put the pieces together fast enough.”

It is poetic. For nearly a century, Republicans have preached that there is no free lunch and that Americans shouldn’t expect to get something for nothing.

They need to capture that message and apply it to themselves. Right now, Republicans are getting Latino votes they haven’t won yet.

That won’t last. So the GOP needs to work, invest time and spend money to make a claim in this growing constituency. Along the way, they will need to brave the inevitable opposition from white Republicans who will likely resent these outreach efforts because they already feel marginalized. and was pushed aside by changing demographics.

For Republicans, the effort to prove they are worthy of Latino support is easy. But if they do nothing and carry on with business as usual — out of complacency, laziness, or fear — they will find it even easier to lose those votes. Democrats are losing Latinos but GOP has no clue how to keep them


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