The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Hispanic Voters Didn’t Punish the GOP Over Arizona


Lamar Smith, writing in the Washington Post:

The conventional wisdom has already settled like a blanket over Washington. Allegedly, Hispanics flocked to the polls to punish Republicans for the Arizona immigration law. They “saved” the Senate for Democrats. And on and on. The conventional wisdom, however, is wrong. The 2010 election actually paints a very bright picture of the Republican Party’s relations with this country’s growing Hispanic population.

Exit polls reported by CNN and updated this week reveal that a historically robust 38 percent of Hispanic voters cast ballots for House Republican candidates in 2010 - more than in 2006 (30 percent) and 2008 (29 percent). In fact, since 1984, Republican House candidates have only won a higher percentage of the Hispanic vote in one election: 2004. This level of Hispanic support for Republican candidates came despite widespread pre-election claims by advocates for illegal immigration that the Arizona law and a pro-rule-of-law stand would undercut Hispanic support for Republicans.

Journalist Shikha Dalmia admitted in Forbes that the 2010 election “casts severe doubts” on the assumption that Hispanics will necessarily be advocates for illegal immigration. “Anti-immigration sentiment,” she wrote, is “driven by economic and other fears that have to be addressed anew for every generation regardless of its ethnic make-up.”

He points to the role Hispanic voters played in the victories of Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, and Rick Perry, and points out that Sharron Angle and Carly Fiorina won a larger share of the Hispanic vote than the previous challengers to Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer.

Tags: 2010 , Polling


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