The GOP has less to fear from a Latino backlash than some claim, says Steven Malanga, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. In a new article, he says those who have warned of impending doom haven’t looked very closely at the Hispanic electorate.
\ \ \ His argument is not that there’s good news for Republicans, but rather that the news was bad even before the immigration debate, and that the debate isn’t likely to change the minds of many Hispanic voters for the worse.\ \ \ \ That’s partly because President Bush’s success among Hispanic voters was exaggerated in 2004 (and besides, it was never clear his success would translate to the rest of the party anyway) and partly because Hispanic voters list plenty of other issues above immigration when asked what is most important to win their vote.\ \ \ \ Immigration-rights groups aligned with Democrats say the difference is last year’s mass marches, and this year’s immigration bill. They say they have succeeded in focusing Hispanic voters’ minds on immigration, and are also making headway in getting legal residents to become citizens and to register to vote.\ \ \ \ Either way, it will be a year before we know for sure.\
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Hispanic backlash? Hmm ...
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