The Corner

Surprise! Hispanic American Voters Are People Too

A Washington Post report on the Coffman-Romanoff U.S. House race in the Denver suburbs (a toss-up, according to RCP) undermines amnesty-pushers’ insistence that our fellow citizens of Hispanic heritage are fixated on immigration policy:

Political observers in Washington constantly call immigration reform essential to the future of the Republican Party, especially in districts like Coffman’s and in states like Colorado, where Hispanics make up about 21 percent of the population.

But the reality on the ground has played out differently in this midterm cycle, even in a district where the issue might be expected to resonate: Both Coffman and Romanoff say their constituents, even in the Hispanic community, are much more likely to raise concerns about the economy or the cost of living than about immigration reform.

Imagine that. The point is reiterated further down the story:

“The border crisis has resonated more with Republicans than with others, and border security became a bigger priority,” said Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic Research at the Pew Research Center. Still, he said: “It is not the dominant issue” at the forefront of the electorate’s mind.

Even among Hispanics, other issues are more likely to take precedence. “I don’t think that immigration is the only issue that is important to the Latino community,” said Christine Alonzo, executive director of the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy and Research Organization, which is helping register Hispanic voters in and around Aurora. “The economy and jobs and affordable housing are very important.”

In other words, a Republican message on jobs and the economy that connects with ordinary voters in general is likely to also resonate with a significant share of Hispanic voters in particular. This simply reinforces the prior polling showing that immigration is a relatively low priority for Hispanic voters.

This isn’t all good news for the GOP. The fact that most Hispanics vote Democrat regardless of immigration policy means most of them actually share that party’s big-government liberalism, despite all the condescending hokum about Hispanics’ “natural conservatism.” But the good news is that a GOP that is strong on immigration (though not disrespectful in tone toward immigrants) but also offers something to voters who don’t have car-elevators is one that can win a significant share of the votes of Hispanic Americans.

The solution to the GOP’s electoral woes, then, isn’t amnesty and increased immigration but rather policies focused on the concerns of ordinary workers, what Senator Sessions has called “a humble and honest populism.” The focus by GOP political operatives on immigration as the explanation for defeat is, in part, an attempt to avoid such needed reforms.

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