Drew at Ace’s looks at the Post-Election Spin: Republicans Better Suck Up To Hispanics Or They Are Doomed! DOOMED! and finds,
There’s a lot of this going around but this story in Politico is as good a representative of the genre as any other.
Hispanic voters saved the Democratic Party Tuesday — buoying Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, keeping California blue, playing an outsize role in preserving the party’s Senate majority and demonstrating a partisan loyalty Democrats didn’t exactly earn in two years of inaction on immigration policy.But that support is anything but certain for 2012, and both parties face difficult and immediate choices when it comes to the Latino vote as they position themselves for the presidential election. Democrats face open demands from Hispanic leaders for a reward for their votes. President Barack Obama could erect a Western bulwark for his reelection campaign by — as Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) suggested to POLITICO — pressing for broad immigration reform in the lame-duck session. But immigration could also prove, like health care, a polarizing, impolitic detour from the economic issues preoccupying voters.
Republicans, meanwhile, were carried to power by a conservative base that is, if anything, even less open to compromise on immigration — or anything else — than was the last Congress. And they head into the 2012 election cycle risking the same pattern that sunk Meg Whitman in California: a primary campaign that drags candidates to the right on immigration, only to find that they can’t plausibly return to ask for the support of Hispanics in November.
Ok, let’s take a look at those two races cited in the story…
Sharon Angle didn’t lose because she didn’t get enough Hispanic voters, she lost because she didn’t get nearly enough white and women voters. She vastly underperformed with those groups compared to winning GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval.
Now take a look at Angle who lost to Harry Reid 50-45%. She won whites 53-41 over Reid but that significantly underperformed Sandoval’s 30% margin. She lost women to Reid 53-32, again under-performing Sandoval by a significant margin.
When it came to Hispanic voters, she lost to Reid 68-30. Angle was more or less in the neighborhood of Sandoval’s vote with that group and in line with the 34% of the Hispanic vote Republicans won nationally.
What was more fatal to Angle, the white vote or the Hispanic vote?
Why no stories about how Democrats in Nevada have a ‘white voter problem’?
Drew points out that
assuming Hispanics are motivated solely by talk of ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ is myopic at best and at worst simply wrong.
During my travels last week I was pondering the paternalistic/populist mindset in Latin America. If a sizeable number of immigrants (legal or otherwise) expect a paternalistic/populist USA, the Dems will forever appeal to that segment of the electorate.
However, if the new immigrants – regardless of educational or economic background – are go-getters who are bursting with entrepreneurial spirit and are self-reliant, the Republicans better get their message across to them.