Politico is living in GOP fantasy land. From their morning email digest:
Unquestionably, there's an opening for Republicans with Hispanics. The real questions are: Can they take it? Will they take it?
Ha ha ha ha ha! Really? Let's examine their evidence—a conservative outfit's poll that claims that only 46 percent of Latinos support President Barack Obama in Florida. But that's Florida, where a significant portion of the Latino vote is rabidly Republican Cubans. And while that's less than the 57 percent of Florida Latinos sided with Obama in 2008, the conservative outfit that commissioned this poll hasn't mentioned how much support Republicans received in the poll.
Kind of a curious omission, don't you think? If it was Obama 46, and Romney 42 (or something like that), they would've released those numbers. But they didn't. (But that's not stopping Politico or other news outlets from running with the incomplete data.)
Let's look at more objective data: a fresh Univision/ABC News Florida poll:
That's not so different than 2008's 57-43 numbers, once you consider the 10 percent of undecided voters. And what's more:
Another indication of the unique make-up of Florida’s Hispanic community is the fact that Cubans in the state side with Romney over Obama 54 percent to 34 percent, while Puerto Ricans back Obama 67 percent to 23 percent. Others favor Obama over Romney 52 percent to 36 percent.
Obama's share of the Puerto Rican vote is exactly what he got nationally in 2008. And while there are big differences between Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans, their voting patterns are almost identical. We have Cuban Americans on the GOP side, and everyone else is 2/3rds Democratic. Just like in 2008.
Now, there is unquestionably a great deal of discontent among Latinos with this White House. Just take a look at this if you are wondering why. But to somehow claim that there's an "opening for Republicans with Hispanics" is as wishful a thinking as claiming that this is finally the year that Jewish Americans finally abandon the Democratic Party.
But I'm not just pulling that claim out of my ass. Let's look at the data. Well, data that doesn't come from conservative propaganda outfits.
Washington Post national poll, December 28, 2011:
ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions, 9/30-10/9:
Generic Republican 17
The bottom line? Latinos may be disappointed in the lack of progress on immigration reform the last few years. But they saw who voted against the DREAM Act in Congress, and they see who is still campaigning against the DREAM Act. They see who is demagoguing Mexico and kowtowing to the notorious Latino-hating Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and they see who is passing anti-immigrant laws in places like Arizona and Alabama. They know that Romney wants to make things so miserable for undocumented immigrants that they "self-deport."
There may be disappointment in Obama and the Democratic Party among Latinos, but no matter what Politico is smoking, there is zero opening for Republicans with this key, growing, demographic.