By Joe Guzzardi
November 28, 2012
For months, the mainstream media browbeat its readers through repeated stories that the Hispanic vote would be the deciding factor in November. Print and broadcast journalists failed to do a smidgen of critical thinking or due diligence. If more than 70 percent of the electorate is white and less than 10 percent is Hispanic, obviously white voters will have more influence on the election’s outcome.
In- depth post-election studies proved that not only was the mainstream media wrong but it was so colossally off track that heads should roll. As it turned out, Hispanics didn’t cost Romney at all. What doomed him was his failure to connect with what should have been his base—moderate, independent, white voters.
According to Edison Research exit polls, even with 100 percent of the Hispanic vote, Romney would still have lost Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa. Other findings concluded that Romney also would have lost California had it delivered 75 percent of the Hispanic vote, Ohio with 78 percent, Virginia with 65 percent, Pennsylvania with 63 percent, Nevada with 46 percent and both Colorado and Florida with 42 percent.
Researchers Allison Kopicki and Will Irving also debunked another widely touted but erroneous assumption about Hispanic voters that the media relentlessly pursued. Although many stories emphasized that Hispanics are social conservatives, no supporting evidence exists. Exit polling indicated that two-thirds of Hispanic voters want legal abortion compared to slightly more than half of white voters. A similar ratio exists on same sex marriage: 59 percent of Hispanics approve opposed to 47 percent of white and 51 percent of blacks.
Finally but perhaps most importantly, Hispanics aren’t racing to embrace the traditional Republican smaller government platform. About six in 10 Hispanics want Obamacare either left unchanged or expanded while one in three white voters would like it repealed. Overall, regarding what government should do to solve an individual’s social and financial problems, 57 percent of Hispanics want more federal intervention; only 37 percent of white voters agree.
From the research, only one conclusion can be drawn. Even if Romney had made historic gains among Hispanics, he would have lost—and decisively. That raises the question of what Romney could have done to perform better with the bloc that he needed to win—whites.
Romney should have been more aggressive on immigration. At no time did he mention President Obama’s deferred action for illegal aliens. Obama’s executive order removing thousands of illegal aliens is unconstitutional. And since the pardoned aliens receive work permits, they will compete in an already overcrowded labor market where more than 20 million Americans can’t find a fulltime job. Furthermore, Romney made little headway with what would have been a clear winner for him—mandatory E-Verify to assure that only legal workers are employed.
Despite overwhelming evidence that Hispanics can’t deliver a GOP victory, the Republicans are still buying into pre-election fabrications about their so-called crucial vote. Instead of deep soul searching about what went wrong in November and how to correct it, the Republicans have been tripping all over themselves to woo Hispanics. House Speaker John Boehner insists that something—amnesty— must be immediately done to appease Hispanics. The Senate busily put together a modified DREAM Act called ACHIEVE that will allow illegal immigrants who arrived as children to stay in the United States but will not lead to citizenship.
Republicans have an immigration-fixated death wish. Americans want less immigration, more border and internal enforcement. Republican victories in the 2014 mid-term and 2016 presidential elections depend on solid, enforcement oriented politics and not futile Hispanic pandering.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]