After the 2012 Presidential election, the Republican Party identified its inability to attract Latino voters as one of the key reasons for Mitt Romney’s defeat. Barack Obama w the Latino vote by an overwhelming percentage of 71-27%, the largest margin by a Democratic candidate since the 1996 election. (Lopez and Taylor) There are similarities between 1996 and 2012, and comparisons between the 1994 Republican takeover of the House, followed by the Contract with America and the government shutdown, and the Tea Party Republicans and their impact on the government and the decisions of voters in 2012. However, while George W. Bush was able to reverse the damage done by the anti-immigrant movement of the 1990s, GOP strategists fear that Latinos may not be so willing to vote for a Republican candidate in 2016 and beyond. (GOPIDsProblem) It seems clear that a shift in Latino voting patterns would represent a major threat to the political future of the Republicans. The percentage of Americans who identify as Latino is expected to rise slightly more than 1% during each election cycle between today and 2060. (Taylor)
This is a particularly striking issue because many Latinos have values in common with the Republican Party. Currently 13% of American Latinos identify as evangelical Protestants, one of the key constituencies of the Republicans. (LatinoEvangPercent). Many Latino voters are business owners, evangelical Protestants, and Western landowners—all groups that tend to vote Republican. However, Latino voters, even within these sub-groups, have rejected the Republicans, both because of the GOP stance on immigration and a broader tone of racism from Republican political figures, especially those associated with the Tea Party. ...
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... as a synonym for “white” in the media.
All this is a reminder that the category of “Latino” was created in the first place as a way to collect a diverse group of people and tag them with a single label. Given that, it is not surprising that the people who have been given that label have moved to adopt increasingly similar political positions in the face of that labelling. Furthermore, it is clear that the prejudice against Latinos is itself the most significant factor leading Latinos to adopt a unified political position. Thus, it can be said that Latinos will make their ethnic identity their primary factor when deciding which party to support as long as the Republican Party does the same thing. Only when Republicans are able to move beyond the racism that led to the creation of “Hispanic” as a category in the first place will they be able to attract Latino voters.
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