Thursday, November 15, 2012

The GOP Flirts With Californiacide

Last week, the GOP got thumped and the Republicans can't believe it because their presidential candidate lost to an incumbent who is arguably the worst occupant of the White House during the last hundred years. Conservatives are incredulous about having been beaten by an office holder who has been leading a nation suffering from high rates of unemployment, terrorist attacks overseas, and $4 per gallon gasoline.

As they dig through the wreckage of last week's exit poll numbers, many take note of the fact that only 27% of Latino voters cast their ballots for Mitt Romney. This not entirely unexpected result has caused a number of prominent conservative figures to fall into a state of near panic. Almost immediately, we have begun to hear calls for "comprehensive immigration reform" from such notables as John Boehner, Charles Krauthammer, Sean Hannity and others. The general reasoning is that Republicans will never obtain a lion's share of the Hispanic vote so long as they continue to oppose legalizing millions of the undocumented who currently reside in the U.S.

Is that true? Would an amnesty constructed by GOP members of Congress win Latinos over to Republican candidates?

Fortunately (depending upon your perspective), we have a model to inspect: The State of California. When Ronald Reagan advocated for and signed the Immigration Reform Control Act of 1986, 2.7 million illegal aliens were granted legal residency. Of those, 1.9 million were residing in Los Angeles County. Have these people, most of whom had children and went on to become citizens, moved in the direction of limited government principles and started electing Republicans?

Here are some facts:

 - When Ronald Reagan ran in in 1984, two years before he signed an amnesty bill, he received 37% of votes cast by Latinos.

- When George H.W. Bush ran in 1988, two years after a Republican signed an amnesty bill, he received 30% of votes cast by Latinos.

- California easily has the nation's largest Hispanic population. No other state comes close, and many current Latino California voters were beneficiaries of the 1986 amnesty or are the children of those who got amnestied in. And Republicans have lost California in every presidential election since 1988.

- In 2008, John McCain advocated for a "comprehensive immigration reform" package that was identical to the one proposed by his opponent. John McCain received 31% of votes cast by Latinos in that election.

- In 2010, a year when Republicans won in huge numbers across the country, Meg Whitman ran as a Republican for the governorship of California. She advocated for the same type of amnesty that had been proposed by John McCain. She lost the election while receiving 34% of the votes cast by Latinos.

- In 2010, Carly Fiorina professed her support of the DREAM Act when she ran for the senate. She lost the election while receiving 31% of votes cast by Latinos in California.

- California, with its considerable Latino voting population, does not currently have a single Republican who holds statewide office.

- George W. Bush (a notable and well known amnesty advocate), who is touted as the poster boy for Republican success with Latino voters, never received more than 44% of Latino votes in any single election.

It's real simple. Latinos in the United States overwhelmingly support Democrats. They always have. This is nothing new. The large majority of Hispanics have voted against Republican candidates who have supported amnesty and against those who oppose it. They have voted for Democrats when Republicans had just passed an amnesty and voted for Democrats when Republicans voiced support for border security.

Expecting them to do otherwise, with an amnesty or without, is simply nonsense because supporting Republicans is something a majority of Latinos has never done. It is a notion that flies is the face of all available evidence; evidence that extends back to the earliest dates when pollsters began tracking Latino voting patterns. Therefore, taking affirmative steps, such as passing "comprehensive immigration reform," to ensure that the national population more closely resembles the population found in deep blue California, is as close to guaranteed suicide for the GOP as it gets.

For more information about Latino voting patterns in presidential elections, dating back to 1960, please click on the following link:

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