Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies and a prominent voice on the anti-immigrant Right, argued yesterday that the Republican Party shouldn’t bother courting Hispanic voters because their "illegitimate" children, "high rates of welfare use," and opposition to “reducing the size of government” make them an "an overwhelmingly Democratic voter group" [...]I get it. He hates brown people. Brown people hate his party.
The Republican share of Latino voters “is never going to be very big,” he said. “Generally speaking, Hispanic voters are Democrats, and so the idea of importing more of them as a solution to the Republican Party’s problems is kind of silly.”
Here's the problem for conservatives like Krikorian—so long as brown people hate his party, his party isn't going to come within sniffing distance of the White House ever again. It's plain demographic reality. Every month, 100,000 mostly elderly (and predominantly conservative) Americans die. Every month, 67,000 Latinos turn 18. In fact, the median age of American-born Latinos is 18. Tons more brown voters on the horizon.
The growth rate of white Americans is 0.5 percent per year. It's 3 percent for Latinos, 3.5 percent for Asians.
So yeah, Republicans either decide to tamp down the hate, or they'll be part of an increasingly shrinking minority over the next several election cycles. Nate Silver took a look at the issue and came to an interesting conclusion:
Suppose, for example, that the voter population grows in accordance with the defaults assumed in the model. This would produce a net of 6.3 million new votes for Democrats by 2028.That's essentially growth in the Latino and Asian communities.
And suppose that 25 percent of the immigrants currently here illegally gain citizenship and vote by 2028. The model calculates that this would provide another 1.2 million votes for Democrats.The model is based on studies that suggest that half of eligible undocumented immigrants would apply for citizenship, and half of those would end up voting.
But suppose also that, as a result of immigration reform, the Republicans go from winning about 28 percent of the Hispanic vote and 24 percent of the Asian vote (as they did in 2012) to 35 percent of each group by 2028. That would shift about 4.8 million votes back to the G.O.P. — about four times more than it lost from the immigrants becoming citizens and voting predominantly Democratic.You see what happened here? Republicans are in trouble either way. But going from 28 to 35 percent of the Latino vote, by itself, would make a huge difference in its electoral prospects, far outweighing the "cost" of 1.2 million undocumented immigrants voting against them.
Those undocumented immigrants won't make or break the GOP. Rather it's the party's attitude toward them that is costing them huge. Either Republicans surrender to our nation's demographic reality and start acting like it values all Americans, or it will continue to bleed support as our nation turns browner by the month.