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Most everybody knows that President Obama got reelected by running up the score with minorities while losing white voters by 20 points.  That's great, but the Republicans (at least, the few who still reside in the real world) are now thinking they need to seriously compete for minority votes (Hispanics in particular) if they want to win elections in the future.

Probably true.  And I've seen some concern trolling from Democrats about what will happen if the GOP does start winning Hispanic votes.

But... Here's what people on the left (and right) aren't thinking about.  This all could just be a zero-sum game for the GOP.

The assumption seems to be that the GOP can just broaden its appeal to Hispanic voters while continuing to run up the score with white voters.  Yet anecdotal evidence suggests that that might not be the case.  Here in Texas, the Republicans ran a Hispanic candidate for the Senate.  (Ted Cruz.  You might have heard of him.)  There are no exit polls available, but we do know that in heavily Hispanic counties, Cruz did perform marginally better than Romney.  And that was with a Hispanic candidate who repeated the standard fare, race-baiting GOP immigration talking points -- imagine how he would have done if he actually made an effort to win Hispanic votes!

Yet, in the end, Cruz ran even with Romney in the entire state.  The obvious implication is that whatever extra support Cruz got with Hispanic voters was cancelled out among white voters.  (Though, an equally plausible explanation is that Democratic candidate Paul Sadler had more appeal to white Texans than Barack Obama.)

And that's the problem that the GOP has going forward.  What the concern trolls ignore is how much of the GOP's dominance with white voters is directly tied into race-baiting, immigrant bashing, and dog whistles that have been standard fare since at least Reagan.  The GOP can't embrace diversity to win Hispanic votes while bashing it to win white votes.

The GOP has backed itself into a corner here.  We know what the white vote looks like when their choice is between a GOP that's hostile to diversity and a Democratic Party that embraces it.  But what does it look like when the GOP embraces it, too?

And this is the case with other issues as well.  Some GOP commentators have suggested that abortion is now an albatross for the GOP.  But how do the pro-lifers vote if the GOP is also a pro-choice party?  How do the homophobes vote if the GOP embraces marriage equality?

That's what the concern trolls seem to forget: if the GOP wants to broaden its appeal, they may not be able to count on the loyalty of their current voters when they do.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    28, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 01:27:39 PM PST

  •  They already tried "tokenism"... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadGeorgiaDem, mungley

    Steele, Rice, West, Rubio...

    Didn't get them very far did it.

    •  I was reading some right wing blogs (0+ / 0-)

      this morning and there were these comments of "maybe we should have supported the dream act or _ (fill in the blank) as if a piece of legislation will cause a feeding frenzy.  As long as they make disparaging remarks and try to take away the rights of groups of people, they will continue to be marginalized.  

      I would hope that before the next redistricting in 2020 that states with high minority populations will have more democrats in the state houses and legislatures so we can effect better congressional districts.  If we can't do that, there will be constant constraints in moving legislation.

      •  You must have been reading RS... (0+ / 0-)

        I saw some of that same silliness at Red State yesterday. They were saying the GOP needed to court the Hispanic vote and in the same sentence saying the Hispanics had it better here than in "whatever Latin American hell hole" they came from.  

        The underlying ignorance, bias, and yes, hatred in the GOP prevents them from even forming a plan to earn the Hispanic vote.  Without respect being plan #1, the GOP will continue to get nada from the Hispanic community.  

        We are all in this together.

        by htowngenie on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:38:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I read this somewhere, maybe Maddow... (4+ / 0-)

    and thought it was a great observation:  the perception that hispanics (blacks, women, etc) have of the GOP will not change until the GOP perception of them changes.   So very true.  Until then, it is just unbelievable etch-a-sketch.

    •  I think that's exactly what is going to happen. (0+ / 0-)

      They'll have to jettison the worst of their base, people like Joe Arpaio, reduce them to the fringe, and cut out the anti-immigrant shit, talk about Hispanics as if they are people.  But I don't think it's impossible to do that.

      However, there's a trade-off.  They risk losing a part of their base, the Mexican-hating Lou Dobbs types.  In terms of overall votes, though, it's a no-brainer.  In certain areas the price for them would be high, like Arizona, but in others, it would make up for it.

      It won't be long before they start to feel the demographic pain in Texas elections.  They will change their tune.

      •  They will have to do more than that- (0+ / 0-)

        They will have to truly demonstrate that they respect minorities, and I am sticking women in that category although they are not in the minority.  However, the disrespect the Republicans show for women is as potent as the disrespect for blacks and latinos.  It is interesting that it is these three voting blocks that gave Obama his win.

  •  Hence the talk of a third party (5+ / 0-)

    of true ideological purity.

    Tea party splits GOP in thirds, says Republican strategist

    Like the five Democratic factions in the Old South that let Abraham Lincoln get elected without a single Southern Electoral College vote.

    Sarah Palin: Third party is ‘a possibility’ if GOP forgets its conservative platform

    The Looming GOP Split

    Herman Cain calls for Third Party
    Rick Moran
    American Thinker

    Sure, Herman. That's the way to beat the liberals. Help them divide and conquer...

    [Bryan] Fischer, a social conservative leader, noted that he predicted this summer that if Mitt Romney loses, evangelical conservatives would start a third party. "If Barack Obama wins this election the Republican Party as we know it is finished, it is dead, it is toast," Fischer said in September at the Values Voter Summit in Washington.

    Rush Limabugh, two months ago, echoed the sentiment. "If Obama wins, let me tell you what it's the end of: the Republican Party. There's gonna be a third party that's gonna be oriented toward conservatism," he said.

    It's going to be popcorn time for years to come.

    America—We built that!

    by Mokurai on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 01:44:57 PM PST

    •  I fully support the Tea Party in this (nt) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheLizardKing, mungley, cany
      •  Yep. And let them run She From the North so (0+ / 0-)

        all factions of the right lose.

        Maybe THAT will convince them that their only road to success is to stop being right wing hate balls.

        They are only going to recover when they move left. It's their only hope but they are likely to f'n stupid to admit it.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 02:33:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bottom line (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    GOP is their own worst enemy.

  •  It is not a zero-sum game .... (0+ / 0-)

    The premise that the GOP can't improve it's standing in the Hispanic community without losing an equal number of white votes is not proven here.  

    Cruz got roughly the same number of votes as Romney on a platform similar to Romney's.  That fact has no bearing on what would happen if the GOP changed it's platform.


    No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. - Edmund Burke

    by AdirondackForeverWild on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 02:22:30 PM PST

  •  The term "concern-trolling" is odd as well (0+ / 0-)

    This term seems to imply that people are worried that the GOP might decide to stop demonizing Hispanics, broadening their appeal and winning some elections.  They need to chill out, I guess, because that won't ever happen.

    Huh?  Wouldn't it be a good thing for the country if the GOP got sane, even if it cost the Democratic Party some elections?

    No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. - Edmund Burke

    by AdirondackForeverWild on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 02:36:17 PM PST

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