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Opinion

August 27, 2013

GOP must face facts on Hispanic voters

Republican gerrymandering has created a situation whereby the average GOP district is 75 percent white compared to just 51 percent white in the Democratic districts. The House Republican Conference has mostly white constituencies, who mostly come from rural districts. When those representatives go home, their constituents are not calling for comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.

The vast majority of House Republicans look at the bill that passed the Senate, and insist that there’s no way they’ll touch anything that approximates the Senate bill. They’ll do something on border security, but they’re not interested in comprehensive reform or a path to citizenship.

A theory that’s gaining momentum claims Republicans don’t need Hispanic votes. However, Karl Rove disagrees, and a Wall Street Journal op-ed says: “A Reagan-like percentage of white voters would yield a much narrower win today. That’s because the non-white share of the vote had doubled to 28 percent in 2012 from 13 percent in 1984. The reality is that the non-white share of the vote will keep growing. If the GOP leaves non-white voters to the Democrats, then its margins and safe congressional districts and red states will dwindle.”

In 2004, Bush was reelected with 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. The electorate in the next presidential election will be 2 percent less white than it was in 2012, which was 2 percent less white than it was 2008. If the Republican Party is going to remain a national political party, it can’t ignore the fact that Hispanic voters are the fasted growing population segment in the country.

That’s the choice the Republican Party is facing, when it comes to its views regarding Hispanic voters.

Jim O’Leary

Delhi

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