Thursday, July 09, 2015

The GOP’s Two Latino Problems - Moderate Voters Being Alienated Too

In tandem, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump appear to be well on the road to alienation both working Americans - the media is all over Bush's "people need to work longer hours" statement - and Hispanic voters thanks to Donald Trump speaking candidly about the racism that fuels much of the GOP.  But, as a piece in Slate notes, it isn't just Hispanics who are being driven away by the harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric.  Moderate white voters are being driven away as well and for the GOP, which must win a huge majority of the white vote to win the White House, this is not good news.  Here are article highlights:
Trump also illustrates a second, more complicated problem. As long as his rhetoric has a place in Republican politics—as long as it has defenders—it won’t just alienate Latinos. It will offend and turn off voters who have conservative ideas and beliefs but won’t sanction or support anti-immigrant sentiment.

Before looking at this other side to the “Latino problem,” it’s worth examining the first one. In the past two presidential elections, Democrats have won more than two-thirds of Latino voters, reversing and eroding gains made during George W. Bush’s administration. Part of this is anti-Republican backlash after the 2008 recession and the tail end of the Bush presidency, but even more is the intense anti-immigration wave that swept the GOP in the wake of the Tea Party’s rapid rise to prominence.

At this point, Latinos don’t just oppose particular candidates, such as Mitt Romney. They disdain the Republican label itself. According to a 2014 survey from the Pew Research Center, just 10 percent of Latinos say that the Republican Party “has concern” for their communities, compared with 50 percent who say as much about the Democratic Party. Few agree with Republicans on policy  . . .

[T]he second problem. The appeals the GOP uses to turn out disaffected whites—and maximize white support writ large—could backfire, both with Latinos and with other whites, who have nonwhite friends, neighbors, spouses, and partners and see themselves as tolerant. In working to maximize their share of the white vote, Republicans who take this path could lower their ceiling.  

It’s not clear that there’s a way out of this dilemma.

I hope the GOP continues to twist on the rope of its own creation.  
As another piece in the Washington Post notes, the GOP has created its own monster now embodied by Trump and other crazies:

[T]here is one entity that can’t dump Trump, no matter how hard it tries: the GOP. The Republican Party can’t dump Trump because Trump is the Republican Party.  

Trump has merely held up a mirror to the GOP. The man, long experience has shown, believes in nothing other than himself. He has, conveniently, selected the precise basket of issues that Republicans want to hear about — or at least a significant proportion of Republican primary voters. He may be saying things more colorfully than others when he talks about Mexico sending rapists across the border, but his views show that, far from being an outlier, he is hitting all the erogenous zones of the GOP electorate.

Anti-immigrant? Against Common Core education standards? For repealing Obamacare? Against same-sex marriage? Antiabortion? Anti-tax? Anti-China? Virulent in questioning President Obama’s legitimacy? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check and check.

Trump may be a phony, but he’s no dope: He recognized that, in the fragmented Republican field, his name recognition would take him far if he merely voiced, in his bombastic style, the positions GOP voters craved. The mogul’s broader basket of issues is also in tune with those of a slate of candidates who have compared homosexuality to alcoholism (Perry), likened union protesters to the Islamic State (Walker) and proposed elections for Supreme Court justices (Cruz), and who virtually all oppose same-sex marriage and action on climate change.

Trump may be a monster, but he’s the monster Republicans created. 

No comments: