The political “experts” and their media drones have been telling us since November 7 that President Obama won the election because, and only because, he won the Hispanic vote by a large margin. As usual, what passes for intelligent analysis inside the Beltway has a tenuous (at best) association with reality. Seeing the Republicans fall all over themselves to introduce immigration “reform” measures should alleviate any doubt that their agenda would have been any different if Romney had won. The “we have to change our tone to attract Hispanic voters” argument is being used as convenient cover for what has been the “let’s cave on amnesty and raise immigration levels” plan that was in the works all along. They must be hoping that no one looks at the actual poll results and realizes that Romney lost not because he underperformed with Hispanic voters but because he couldn’t turn out his base.
Some are paying attention, and it’s not just us at FAIR. Jamelle Bouie pointed out in The Washington Post last week that “No, more Latino votes wouldn’t have helped Romney win.” According to Bouie’s calculations, Romney would have had to have received 63 percent of the Hispanic vote (4.5 million additional votes) in order to best Obama in the popular vote. It is extremely unlikely that any position Romney took on immigration could have changed that many minds, especially considering that in numerous polls Latino voters ranked immigration far down their list of priorities.
But because many Hispanic voters voted in states that weren’t competitive, Bouie looked at Ohio and Virginia, two states Romney needed to take the White House. In those two states, Romney would have had to have won “the overwhelming majority of Latino voters, upwards of 90 percent, in order to overtake the president” because the share of the Hispanic vote in Ohio and Virginia is small. The notion that Romney lost the race because Hispanic voters turned against him over his immigration policy (which was what really?) is just plain silly.
Endorsing amnesty will not attract Hispanic voters to the Republican Party in the short-term, but it will create more Democratic voters in the long-term, if we pay credence to history and current voting trends. It would also alienate the Republican base even more. This approach, not surprisingly, is the exact strategy that Democrats (out of the kindness of their hearts, of course) are suggesting the Republicans adopt. If this is a winning recipe for the Republican Party, then maybe Karl Rove is a genius after all, because it seems daft to us regular folk.