After Bill’s Fall, G.O.P. May Pay in Latino Votes

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. (The dem party has to be thrilled over this. One the one hand, they can blame the repubs in the next election cycle to pander to the Latino voters, and at the same time it is business as usual for dem employers who use illegals. For them, a win/win situation. For the repubs...well, it sucks to be klannish these days...)

    July 1, 2007
    After Bill’s Fall, G.O.P. May Pay in Latino Votes

    LOS ANGELES, June 30 — Many Republican lawmakers returned to their home districts in triumph this week, having beat back a comprehensive immigration bill that many of their constituents had denounced as untenable.

    But the bill’s demise may have greatly damaged the party’s ability to meet its enduring goal of attracting a large percentage of the growing number of Hispanic voters — thousands of whom are ostensibly in line with the party on a host of other issues, said many Republican lawmakers, consultants and Hispanic voters.

    “There may be some short-term gain from this,” said Linda Chavez, who served in the Reagan administration and is now chairwoman of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative public policy group. “But in the long term, it is disastrous for the Republican Party.”

    The complex political dynamic that formed the failure of the immigration bill — one that sought to give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants while providing enhanced security to the nation’s borders — went far beyond partisan alliances.

    Several Republicans, notably Senator Mel Martinez of Florida and Senator John McCain of Arizona, helped write the bill and defended it. But other Republicans led the opposition to kill it. They were joined by some Democrats — some who held views similar to the Republican opponents of the bill, but also by liberals who felt that the bill’s provisions were too onerous.

    In some cases, views of the bill were formed more along regional than party lines, with unlikely allies like businesses interests and immigrants’ rights groups. Its champion was a conservative president.

    Yet in terms of the politics of perception, Hispanics may have been deeply alienated by the heated rhetoric that wound around the axle of the debate, most of it stemming from a few Republican opponents and the loud echo chamber of talk radio.

    “The tone of the debate, and the way it was framed in sort of an ‘us against them’ way, has done great harm in wooing Hispanics to the party,” said Ms. Chavez, who was the director of the United States Commission on Civil Rights under Reagan.

    For example, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a leading opponent of the measure, at one point in the debate, said, “The bill would provide amnesty and a path to citizenship for people who broke into our country by running past the National Guard.”

    In essence, many Hispanics and Republicans said, the outcome of the legislation may be less damaging to the party than the notion that Hispanics are not welcome among them.

    “I think it’s bloody for the Republicans,” said Antonio Gonzalez, president of the William C. Velasquez Institute, a Latino-oriented research and policy organization with offices in San Antonio and Los Angeles. “The Democrats said pro-immigrant stuff, and even if they didn’t support it, it was because they said it wasn’t good enough. The Republicans said anti-immigrant stuff and so now they are going to get killed with this.”

    It is a view that many Republicans share. Mr. McCain, who in May told Republicans that “the Hispanic vote is turning against us in very large numbers,” expressed similar thoughts privately this week, aides said.

    In an interview on Friday, Mr. Martinez, who is chairman of the national Republican Party, called the bill’s defeat “a bipartisan failure.” To win favor with Hispanics in the future, “We’ve got our work cut out for us,” he said. “I consider it serious.”

    Abel Maldonado, a prominent Hispanic Republican in the California State Senate, said he felt that both parties were damaged, but that “It hurts the Republican party a little bit more in terms of bringing more minorities into the party.”

    Hispanics made up 8.6 percent of the nation’s eligible voters in 2006, according to the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington, up from 7.4 percent in 2000.

    In some states, like New Mexico, Texas and California, Hispanics make up well over 20 percent of eligible voters, though that number is a significantly smaller share of the overall Hispanic population than other ethnic groups, the center found. In 2004, according to the research group, Hispanics made up 6 percent of all votes cast.

    Republicans have showed signs of making clear inroads in recent years among Hispanic voters. President Bush took roughly 40 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California won roughly the same percentage of Hispanic voters in his state in his re-election in 2006 — a strong showing for any Republican candidate here.

    But the party saw only about 25 percent of Hispanic voters come its way in the midterm elections last year, an alarming trend for the Republicans looking at 2008. Many Republicans fear that loss of essentially half their market share, though they were not willing to say so on the record.

    With about two-thirds of the nation’s Hispanic residents living in nine of the states holding early Democratic primaries — including California, where Hispanics hold more sway in the party than in most other states — there is now an opportunity for Democrats to seize on immigration as a wedge issue.

    “You have to look at this in terms of outreach,” said Adam Mendelsohn, communications director for Governor Schwarzenegger. “I think that some of the rhetoric on the immigration debate has a very negative impact in terms of potentially alienating different constituencies. The governor said in his speech to Washington that we need to cool the rhetoric. He feels that the debate was hurtful to his party and the country as a whole.”

    Many Republicans said that Democrats were to blame for tarring their party, and that the Democrats deserved as much blame or praise, depending on one’s point of view, for the bill’s downfall. They added that they believed that the president’s support for the bill and the advocacy it enjoyed from other prominent Republicans would ultimately help the party make its case with Hispanics.

    “The rhetoric from radical left was to portray Republicans as anti-immigration across the board,” said Ron Nehring, chairman of the California Republican Party. But, he added, “We just had a lengthy national dialogue on the topic of immigration and what was established by that is that Republicans support legal immigration and oppose illegal immigration.”

    But Republican Hispanics are less sure that perception is widespread, even when they share it. “It’s definitely going to hurt the Republican Party,” said Bettina Inclan, executive director of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. “Clearly the leadership of the Republican Party, meaning Bush and Martinez, are completely supportive. It is unfortunate that there has been a lot of bad communication in the Spanish press that all Republicans are against this bill.”

    Alfredo Maciel, 72, who owns a clothing alteration business in Costa Mesa, said in an interview in Orange County on Friday that he blamed residents in districts with strong anti-immigrant feelings rather than either political party, including the Republican one he belongs to. But nor did Mr. Maciel believe that the debate had enhanced the party’s image with potential new voters.

    “I don’t think Latinos are interested in joining the Republicans,” he said, “and I don’t think Republicans are interested in attracting them.”
  2. this article is klannish.
  3. Clearly, you don't know what klannish means.

    You can find the definition in the urban dictionary...

  4. That is sort of the difference between the two parties. Republicans don't feel the need to pander to every minority sector, only to abandon them after the election. ZZZZZzzzz: proving you are a moron one post at a time.
  5. Repubs don't pander?


    You are delusional...

  6. I never said "they don't pander". Can you read ?
  7. Repubs are choosy about which minority to pander to...and then they never abandon them.

    Good show, on second reading, you are found to be even more delusional...


  8. zzZZZ u so klannish:

    2. inclined to associate exclusively with the members of one's own group

    u b hillary klannish, don't make me flash gang hand signals.
  9. I really don't know who is more brain damaged, you or the klannish....

    Wait, you are a Libertarian Ron Paul Kool-Aid drinker, aren't you?



  10. zzZZZ's mentor and head of his klannish movement:
    #10     Jul 1, 2007