You have to wonder what the authors of the much-ballyhooed Republican electoral “autopsy” four years ago think about this one. At the time, the decision was made by the party establishment to target Hispanic voters by going in another direction on illegal immigration. From that, the Gang of Eight bill was born, and Republicans stopped talking tough about amnesty. Surely now, the GOP would be able to win Latino votes back from the Democrats.
That, more than anything else, is what angers the party about the direction of the 2016 race. Donald Trump kicked off his campaign with the most direct talk on Mexican illegal immigration that we’ve heard from Republicans in…well, ever. The GOP brass was convinced that this would be it. Hispanics would leave the party in droves, and it would become mathematically impossible to improve on Mitt Romney’s 2012 performance.
As it turns out, though, they may have misjudged Hispanic Republicans. According to a new poll from Beck Research, Trump is number one among that demographic, pulling in 38% of Hispanic support. In second place is the man who talks just as tough on illegal immigration, Ted Cruz. Imagine that. It turns out that conservative Hispanics can actually look beyond race and vote as Americans first. This has to be a stunning revelation to Washington liberals, including those in the Republican Party.
“If you’re trying to stop Trump – this poll should trouble you,” said Deborah Beck, the president of the survey firm. “This poll finds that he’s building a committed base of voters. Trump is proving to be Teflon, and despite his statements about Hispanic voters, 38 percent of Hispanic Republicans back him.”
Well, first of all…Trump has never made a single comment about Hispanic voters, so it’s not clear what Beck is talking about there. Second, the media has repeatedly ignored the fact that many legal immigrants despise those who jump the border fence. They don’t want to be lumped in with Mexicans who chose to break federal law. They did it the right way, so why should they have any compassion for people who want a short-cut to citizenship? Their jobs will be endangered just as much as anyone else’s.
What if Mexico’s population was 100% white? Everything else was the same. What would then be the excuse to turn this into an issue of race? Would Democrats even care about amnesty if they didn’t think they were laying the groundwork for electoral dominance? Please, the question answers itself.
Hispanics are just a little bit smarter than the mainstream media gave them credit for. And it may turn out that the cynical attempt to racialize this issue will backfire on the left in a big way.