Republicans Need To Do More Than Seek Hispanic Votes

After doing poorly in the 2012 election, Republicans have tried to make their party appear more appealing to minority voters. That is no easy task for a party which has capitalized on racism and xenophobia for their support. It also would not be enough for them to win a presidential election. Byron York looked at data from Nate Silver and showed that picking up more Hispanic votes would not have been enough for Mitt Romney to win:

What if Romney had won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote, the high-water mark for Republicans achieved by George W. Bush in 2004? As it turns out, if Romney had hit that Bush mark, he still would have lost, with 240 electoral votes to 298 for Obama.

But what if Romney had been able to make history and attract 50 percent of Hispanic voters? What then? He still would have been beaten, 283 electoral votes to 255.

What if Romney had been able to do something absolutely astonishing for a Republican and win 60 percent of the Hispanic vote? He would have lost by the same margin, 283 electoral votes to 255.

But what if Romney had been able to reach a mind-blowing 70 percent of the Hispanic vote? Surely that would have meant victory, right? No, it wouldn’t. Romney still would have lost, although by the narrowest of electoral margins, 270 to 268. (Under that scenario, Romney would have won the popular vote but lost in the Electoral College; he could have racked up huge numbers of Hispanic votes in California, New York and Texas, for example, and not changed the results in those states.)

According to the Times’ calculator, Romney would have had to win 73 percent of the Hispanic vote to prevail in 2012. Which suggests that Romney, and Republicans, had bigger problems than Hispanic voters.

The most serious of those problems was that Romney was not able to connect with white voters who were so turned off by the campaign that they abandoned the GOP and in many cases stayed away from the polls altogether. Recent reports suggest as many as 5 million white voters simply stayed home on Election Day. If they had voted at the same rate they did in 2004, even with the demographic changes since then, Romney would have won.

To win a national election (as opposed to showing success in Congress where they benefit from gerrymandering and deluding voters from rural and small states to vote against their interests) Republicans cannot hope to simply pander to certain minorities. They must change their underlying message. They must stop claiming to be the party of small government while supporting increased government intrusion in the lives of individuals. They cannot talk about foreign policy after promoting policies which undermine the security of the United States. They must stop claiming to care about the deficit while promoting irresponsible economic policies which increased the deficit and crashed the economy.

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