Monday, November 10, 2008

More On Hispanic Vote's Impact On 2008 Vote

Townhall's Ivan Moreno sides with my contention that Hispanic voters made the difference in Obama's win this year. He cites statistics showing that at least 2 million more Hispanics voted in the 2008 presidential election versus 2004, representing 9% of all voters. Among first-time Hispanic voters, the numbers favoring Obama over McCain were staggering. The U.S. government, Moreno notes, naturalized a record 1 million new Americans last year. "And the new Hispanic voters backed Obama by 76 percent to 23 percent for McCain," he writes.

The message to the Republican Party could not be more clear. If the party continues to engage in immigrant bashing, the party is doomed to permanent minority status. Republicans have been able to compete nationally because of the sizable number of Hispanic voters it has been able to attract. President George W. Bush learned the importance of the Hispanic vote as governor of Texas, which has one of the largest population of Hispanics. Despite his shortcomings, Bush understood how critical these voters were to his presidential campaigns. He won two close presidential races because he outperformed the party's losing GOP contenders in the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections among Hispanics. Similarly, President Ronald Reagan enjoyed substantial support among Latinos. Recall that he signed into law the country's biggest amnesty law of all time, granting citizenship to millions of undocumented Hispanics and propelling their electoral influence.

The GOP's chances among African-American voters is hopeless, particularly after Obama's historic election. The party can ill-afford to continue losing support among Latino voters, a group that is growing at double the rate of blacks in this country. Even here in Indiana, Hispanics represent more than 5% of the population and will likely surpass the number of African-Americans in the state within a decade or a little more if the current population trends hold up. This year's election outcome should be a wake-up call to the GOP to get right with Hispanics, or risk condemning the party to permanent minority status.

In Marion County and Indianapolis, the situation is even more precarious with a significantly larger African-American population than the statewide numbers and a rapidly growing Hispanic population. At the same time, more and more white voters are fleeing to the suburban counties to escape the higher taxes, bad schools and high crime here. Again, GOP efforts to win African-American votes in Marion County have proven futile. The party should be doing all it can, however, to compete among Latino voters and the city's growing GLBT community. Mayor Ballard has shown some interest in reaching out to Latino voters, but he has devoted far more attention to the African-American community, which has pretty much slammed the door in his face at every turn. Ballard has completely ignored the GLBT community despite the significant support he received from it during last year's election. That formula ensures defeat in 2011 for Ballard unless he rethinks his outreach efforts.

Think about this. The Democrats in Congress are likely to pass into law next year the immigration reform legislation authored by Senators Edward Kennedy and John McCain, and President Obama will sign it into law. That legislation will give a path to citizenship for nearly 12 million people. If that group votes in the numbers first-time citizens voted in this election once they are naturalized, the Republicans could be shut out of the White House and Congress for decades to come.

13 comments:

Michael said...

How has the Republican Party engaged in "immigrant bashing"? Who has done that? And what, exactly was said?

Conservatives and a clear majority of people in this country welcome immigrants of all stripes. Legal immigrants.

We do not like the idea that our borders are useless and non-existent, and that illegal immigrants can come into this country, get drivers licenses, and vote.

This is what the lib Dems want.

Conservatives know that there is a serious problem in protecting our borders (which can also allow in terrorists) as well as in dealing with the what? 10 million? 20 million? illegals in this country. How in the hell were they allowed to come here in the first place???

Is that immigrant bashing?

First things first.

SHUT

THE

BORDER

DOWN

Then......... we will be in a position to deal with the problem of the illegals in this country will confidence that any amnesty offered will be the last time it need be done.

I hardly think that is illegal bashing.

Advance Indiana said...

The problem with your logic, Michael, is that it ignores the fact that many of the people you are talking about are married to U.S. citizens and have U.S. citizen children. What many Republicans are insisting on doing is splitting up those families and sending the alien spouse home for good. They were allowed to enter the country in the first place because our country placed no priority on keeping them out. U.S. businesses wanted the supply of cheap labor and the government didn't allocate the resources or even try to allocate the resources to police the border. Many states, including Indiana, made it easy for them to get driver's licenses. Incidentally, the Daniels administration is denying renewal of driver's licenses to all of the persons who were given driver's licenses during the Bayh-O'Bannon years. This is posing a serious problem for the illegal alien population in Indiana. Some are heading to other states to get their licenses and still others will head home. In fact, if the unemployment rate goes as high as some experts think it will go, you will see many of them heading back across the border if jobs become scarce here.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Gary,

I could not agree with you more on your analysis regarding the need for Republicans getting the Hispanic vote and that the GOP needs to stop bashing immmigrants.

Of course, people like Michael say it's just about "illegal" immigration. The fact is those same people never have absolutely no interest in fixing a broken immigration system so those people would be legal. They just want enforcement of existing laws that are broken and do not reflect reality or the needs of this country.

I don't agree the situation with black voters is hopeless for Republicans. I think rather than solidify African-American voters, the achievement of electing a black President will break the unity blacks have for the Democratic party. Nothing breeds disunity than successfully achieving one's goal. Disappointment inevitably sets in.

I would say though that you are a 100% correct that doing better with Hispanic voters needs to be priority #1 for Republicans.

Paul K. Ogden said...

The 9/11 Commission Report talked about the danger of terrorists coming over the border and the need to better secure it. It wasn't the Mexican border the Commission identified as the most the big problem for terrorist sneaking into the country. It was the Canadian border.

When I hear people like Michael claim that their position on immigration is because of a concern over terrorists sneaking into the country, why is it that their focus always on the Mexican border then and they don't care about the Canadian border where terrorists are more likely to cross?

Oh, and those terrorists on 9/11 did not sneak over the border. They came right in through customs. And I don't recall them being Mexican.

Citizen Kane said...

Just because government abdicated its responsibility doesn't mean that behavior that violated the law should be forgiven. People get cited for violating the law all the time regardless of how long their illegal activity has occurred. It is patently unfair to American citizens to force them to accept that people of all types, including some of the most virulent criminals will become legal citizens and a permanent scourge on our society. I for one don't engage in criminal behavior just because government turns a blind eye to it or doesn't have the resources to enforce these laws. Frankly, I have no sympathy for citizens who married illegal aliens and had children with them. As far as I am concerned the entire family can all take a hike across the border. No one made them marry an illegal alien. And Congress could clarify that an illegal alien child is an illegal alien and not a citizen. Clearly the children of foreign diplomats who enter the country legally are not citizens, so how in the hell are children of illegal aliens citizens. It makes no sense. There is no other country that interprets or includes in its constitution a provision for citizenship for anyone who happens to fall across the border. Furthermore, when the need for these workers was based on the illegitimate, fraudulent economy of the last two decades, the last thing this country needs is the permanent legalization of poorly educated illegal aliens in addition to the existing mass of the those wholly uninterested in improving themselves. When many of these illegal aliens have children who go to schools in environments that are not conducive to learning, resulting in an unnecessary expansion of the underclass, you have a recipe for disaster. A party that panders to Whites, Hispanics, Blacks or Gays, etc. is not a party that interests me. Only a party that relies on real conservative principles instead of phony symbolism will draw my interest.

artfuggins said...

Michael...the anti immigrant attitude you displayed has been visible in many GOP candidates going back to Gov. Pete Wilson of California. Pat Buchanan, Tom Nancredo, Mitt Romney etc....In Indiana, the blatherings of GOP office holders like Rep. Mike Pence and Rep Souder....and there there is Woody Burton who offends all the groups mentioned by AI

thundermutt said...

Michael, exhibit A:

Mike Delph (R-Carmel).

Michael said...

First of all.... I am not aware of any Republican candidate for anything that advocates "rounding up" illegal, sending them "home" for good, or splitting families.

I hear them saying we need to close the border FIRST. PERIOD.

And Delph wants to enforce the law. Federal Law. As in the Simpson Mazzoli Act.... the last great amnesty for illegals.

How did THAT work out?

The Conservative position is and should remain simple.

We have a HUGE problem with illegal immigration. The first rule when one finds oneself in a hole is to STOP DIGGING.

So secure the border.

I ask again.... how is that immigrant bashing? How does that advocate "rounding up" people and sending them "home" (your word, by the way, not mine).

And once the border is secured, THEN we can exercise whatever degree of political magnamity we want toward the MILLIONS of illegals here now. (And... ahem... ummmmm...... shouldn't we do something to stop illegal immigration? Or should we just continue to let them in?)

You all are simply exercising in bashing of your own, I think. Bashing of those who are interested in figuring out how we got to this point, and how to best enforce the law and attack the problem (instead of each other, as you seem want to do).

I suppose I could bash you as well. After all, you are all in favor of illegals coming in here for whatever reason, refusing to recognise the problem for your own warped political purposes (or maybe it is just fear) , are completely willing to jettison the principles of law and order in order to bend over to political and electoral blackmail. You are perfectly willing to be run by those who break the law right under your noses.

Seriously though.....

What is YOUR answer to this problem?

Other than engaging in crass political attacks on those trying to deal with this HUGE problem?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Citizen,

Then join us in fixing those immigration laws. People who claim they are just against illegal immigration reveal themselves as being against both legal and illegal immigrant when they refuse to fix broken immigration laws that prevent those individuals who can contribute so much and who our country needs, from immigrating here legally.

As a side note, I apolgize for the poor editing on my posts on this thread. Reading back through them, I cringe.

Advance Indiana said...

I am one hundred percent behind border control efforts. We wouldn't be facing this problem today if our borders were sealed and entry with inspection was the only means of entering the U.S. At the same time, I think we need a humane approach to undocumented aliens in this country. For those living and working in the U.S. for a minimum period of time (3, 4 or 5 years, e.g.) and who do not have criminal records, they should be able to obtain valid work visas if there is an employer who is willing to employ them. Those arriving in the country within a less period of time would be allowed to voluntarily leave the country without any bar to a future legal entry into the U.S. based upon their illegal presence. The visas should be valid for at least 3 years. Upon the expiration of the visa, the visa holders should be eligible to apply for a green card, assuming they have not violated any criminal laws. The visa holders who are married to U.S. citizens would be able to adjust status sooner.

bobisimo said...

If that group votes in the numbers first-time citizens voted in this election once they are naturalized, the Republicans could be shut out of the White House and Congress for decades to come.

I honestly wouldn't worry about that too much. Any time one party is in office and things aren't perfect, people naturally look to the other side - especially if the other side is telling you how things aren't perfect and they want to make them better. I can't imagine the Republicans getting shut out. And that's not even considering that the Republicans find their Obama-like star.

Citizen Kane said...

Many of the laws do need to be fixed because our legal immigration process has been bastardized into a plethora of special favors that do not constitute a lucid policy. But first, I reject the premise that illegal immigrants were, are or will ever be needed for the economy; now they may have been desired, by some, for the false economies that have been constructed and expanded (and destroyed) over the last two decades, but they were not necessary for steady appropriate growth. Our existing immigration process, with modifications, if appropriately staffed and enforced would easily accommodate any of our economic or general societal needs, if necessary. Now, since I don't trust our government to follow through on anything they say (other than invading sovereign countries under false pretenses), I will not accept any sort of comprehensive immigration reform proposal until the legal immigration system is reformed in a manner that clearly indicates to immigrants and citizens that the United States is serious about immigration standards and penalties for noncompliance. Twenty years ago, despite the problems related to illegal immigration, I came to love California, particularly Belmont Shores in Long Beach (despite the gang signs flashed at me by a supermarket worker because I drove around the block twice and made eye contact), because of the diversity (a term I don't use to describe anywhere today because of how it has been co-opted by namby-pamby multi-culturists). During my most recent visit (to Oakland of all places), that same feeling of contentment swept over me as I renewed my love affair because of my interactions with the diverse peoples of California. But I would submit that California's pluses are due to legal immigration and its many minuses are mainly due to illegal immigration. Illegal immigration creates economic mercenaries who are only here for the money and not for the love of the U.S. and what it represents. If we do allow people to flood into our country as economic mercenaries, we will reap what we sow.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Citizen,

I didn't say we needed "illegal" immigration. I said our ecomomy needed immigration, particularly to fill unskilled positions. I want those people to be here legally. The current laws make it impossible.

The fact is finding workers to work entry level jobs is extremely difficult. I remember restaurants on my side of town used to have to close at 7 p.m. because they couldn't find any workers.

The fact is this past decade saw a tremendous labor shortage, particularly in the area of unskilled labor. Mexican immigrants arrived and the need was filled. I want them to be here legally, but there are people out there who fight any effort to reform the immigration system to allow them to be here legally.

Tell you what, you support reform to our broken immigration system and I will 100% support strong enforcement of those laws. Unfortunately those who claim they are just against illegal immigration are almost always against fixing the immigration laws.