We have all heard that Latinos turned California blue. According to the familiar story, Governor Pete Wilson and California Republicans played nativist politics in the 1990s by supporting Proposition 187 and other Latino-bashing ballot initiatives. The strategy was a short-term success but a long-term disaster. While Republicans made gains in the 1994 elections, the hunter became the hunted: Latinos mobilized in reaction, overwhelmingly supported the Democratic Party, and realigned California politics. As Latino and immigrant populations continue to grow, Republicans fall further behind every year.
If this story is true, then the California GOP has no realistic path to power. At …
This article appears as “Winning the Latino Vote” in the April 19, 2021, print edition of National Review.
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