Hispanics and the GOP

by Mark Krikorian

I didn’t find much to disagree with in today’s pieces on the home page by Jonah and by John O’Sullivan on the Republican party’s approach to Hispanic voters and immigration policy. But I do think both make a mistake common to a lot of people on the right in imagining that Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio will appeal to a significant number of Hispanic voters who aren’t already Republicans. Don’t get me wrong — they’re great conservatives who will go far and, I hope, do our country a lot of good. But nearly two-thirds of “Hispanics” in the U.S. are of Mexican origin, another 9 percent Puerto Rican, and about 7 percent Central American — neither a white Cuban from Miami nor a white half-Cuban Southern Baptist from Texas is going to stand out to such voters as one of them. That’s no reason not to, say, nominate Rubio for VP to try to tip the balance in Florida (though I’m rooting for Jindal, myself), but just don’t imagine he’s going to persuade any more undecided Hispanic voters to pull the lever for the GOP than any other white conservative would.

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