Following is a reprint of the blog I wrote on November 16, 2018. It discusses what, to me, is a huge opportunity for Republicans with Latino voters – one that that the party almost certainly must capitalize on to stay viable in national elections.
Now, a year and a half later, its points are, if anything, even more compelling and salient than they were then.
Read it and decide for yourself:
Let me start with some information you might not be aware of:
-People of Latino (or Hispanic, your choice) ancestry are the largest minority group in the United States. With about 57.5 million people, they comprise roughly 15% of the entire U.S. population.
-It is projected that, by 2050, they will comprise about 30% of the population.
That’s a lot of people. And that’s a lot of voters.
Right now, Latinos, as a group, are strongly on the Democrat side, as seen in this study, conducted ongoingly by the Pew Research Center:
As you can see, this is a pretty daunting situation for Republicans: the largest minority group, which is quickly growing, is currently in the pocket of Democrats.
But is there an opportunity here for Republicans? Are there viable ways of making inroads?
The answer is yes….if Republicans, as a party, address the Latino population intelligently.
When, for example, do Republicans capitalize on the fact that Latino people (with many exceptions, of course – I’m talking generally here) tend to be religious, overwhelmingly Catholic (about 62% according to Pew), and tend to have relatively conservative family views?
When do Republicans talk to Latino populations about these issues? Make their case that Republicans are far more on the Latino side than Democrats are?
And when do Republicans talk to Latino people about the consequences of illegals coming to the United States? When do they ask “Whose neighborhoods do you think they will be coming to?” “If there are gang members and drug cartel people, whose children do you think they will be recruiting”?
These are legitimate questions – questions that Latinos should find very important, very much worth considering when they go to the polls on election day.
If the Republican Party does not start talking frankly to Latino populations and presenting itself as a more desirable alternative than Democrats, it is essentially folding its own tents.
If, on the other hand, it speaks to Latino populations about the values which might attract them and why Republicans could be a better choice, it might find that there are a lot of votes to be mined….votes that could spell the difference between viability and non-viability for the party in future years.
In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidency, in no small part, by asking Black voters to consider him because, compared to Democrats, “what the hell do you have to lose?”. Hillary Clinton still won the overwhelming percentage of Black votes, but the Republican increase/Democrat decrease, small though it was, probably accounted for his victory margin in several states and turned the tide.
If Republicans can, similarly, convince even a relatively small number of Latino voters to cross the aisle, not only might they get the same kind of results Trump got in 2016, but they might also generate a real discussion within Latino communities about the merits of each party. The more diverse the vote, the more diverse the dialogue/exposure to what both sides have to offer.
Will they do it? Will they capitalize on the opportunities described above? Who knows.
As someone affiliated with neither party, I have no horse in this race. But it will be fascinating to find out
There it is.
Did what I wrote then make sense? Does it make sense now? Your call.