Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

Assessing How Pivotal the Hispanic Vote Was to Obama’s Victory

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

In the wake of the 2012 presidential election, there has been extensive discussion about the Republican Party’s failure to appeal to Hispanic voters, whether this failure was responsible—at least in part—for Mitt Romney’s defeat, and whether a change in immigration policy would be sufficient to shift the Latino vote rightward in the next election.

Looking at actual vote counts and the exit poll results from the recent election can provide insight into answering two important questions: First, was Mr. Obama’s electoral victory dependent on high Hispanic turnout and support from a large percentage of the Hispanic vote? And second, if the Hispanic vote did prove decisive in the outcome, how easy would it be for a Republican candidate to gain a significantly greater share than Mr. Romney in future elections, assuming the Republicans agree to some type of comprehensive immigration reform?

In states where polling data on the two candidates’ shares of the Hispanic vote were not available, we allocated the national Hispanic support level of 71 percent to Mr. Obama, and the remaining 29 percent to Mr. Romney.

By then removing the number of Hispanic votes from each candidate’s vote total and reallocating them back to the two candidates in order to equalize their total votes, one can determine what percentage of the Hispanic vote Mr. Obama needed to carry each of the key states. For example, in Wisconsin, 3,056,613 votes were cast, of which 4 percent, or 122,264 votes, were cast by Hispanics according to exit polls. Mr. Obama’s margin of victory in Wisconsin was over 200,000 votes—even if all Hispanics had voted for Mr. Romney instead of voting for Mr. Obama by more than two to one, he would have won the state.

Not unexpectedly, the Hispanic vote was also not decisive in Iowa or New Hampshire where Mr. Obama could have carried the states even if he had won none of the Hispanic vote whatsoever.

In Ohio, where the president received an estimated 54 percent of the Hispanic vote, according to exit poll data, we find he could have won the state with as little as 22 percent of the Hispanic vote, and in Virginia, where he received 64 percent of the Hispanic vote, we find that he could have carried the state with just over 33 percent.

It is also worth noting that in states that were not considered battleground territory, Mr. Obama could still have won without a majority of the Hispanic vote. In California, Mr. Obama took the state’s 55 electoral votes with 72 percent of the Hispanic vote, but could have won with as little as 25 percent. And in Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), where Mr. Obama received an estimated 80 percent of the Hispanic vote, he could have still carried the state with just over 37 percent.

With these five swing states, along with the safe Democratic states that Mr. Obama should have carried regardless of the Hispanic vote, the president would have reached 283 electoral votes, winning the Electoral College without needing to win a majority of the Hispanic vote in each state.

In the remaining swing states—Nevada, Florida and Colorado—along with New Mexico, Mr. Obama did require a majority of the Hispanic votes cast in order to carry those states, although the shares he achieved still exceeded the threshold minimums he needed. In Colorado, where Mr. Obama received an estimated 75 percent of the Hispanic vote, we estimate that he could have won with just over 58 percent, and in Nevada, where he won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, he could have carried the state with just under 54 percent. In the key battleground of Florida (29 electoral votes), Mr. Obama’s 60 percent share of the Hispanic vote was just above the 58 percent share required for victory in that state.

In New Mexico, Florida, Nevada and Colorado, slightly higher shares (but still less than a majority) of the Hispanic vote could have swung them to Mr. Romney, and this may well put these states in play in the next election if the Republican candidate and platform have broader appeal among Hispanic voters.

The exit poll results suggest that the Republicans’ assertion that Hispanics are socially conservative is not necessarily true.

Two-thirds of Hispanic voters said that abortion should be legal in most or all cases, compared with slightly more than half of white voters, according to exit poll results. Hispanics were also more liberal when it came to same-sex marriage, with 59 percent saying it should be legal in their state, compared with 51 percent of blacks and 47 percent of white voters.

Exit poll results also indicate that Hispanics are not necessarily racing to adopt the Republican platform of smaller government. Nearly 6 in 10 Hispanics said Mr. Obama’s health care law should be expanded or left as is, compared to about a third of white voters. And 57 percent of Hispanics said that government should be doing more to solve the problems of individuals, compared to 36 percent of whites. Hispanics, like the rest of the electorate, were also in favor of raising income taxes in order to reduce the federal deficit.

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8 in 10 Want U.S. Aid Only to Legal Citizens

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

As the nation debates the surging demand for federal aid and the status of children born here to illegal citizens, a new Rasmussen Reports poll finds remarkable agreement that those seeking federal financial help must first prove they are Americans.

Just over eight in 10 likely voters said “yes” when asked if “before anyone receives government services should they prove they are a citizen?” Rasmussen said 81 percent agreed, and just 9 percent said no.

In the new poll, Rasmussen also found that a majority do not believe that the children born here to illegal immigrant parents should automatically become U.S. citizens. Some 53 percent said no versus 37 percent who agreed.

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On Air and Before Audiences, Romney Makes Push for Hispanic Vote

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Mitt Romney, hunting for an electoral edge in swing states, is intensifying his push for Hispanic voters, ratcheting up his Spanish-language advertising, deploying a Spanish-speaking son to court Latino leaders and putting himself in front of a growing number of Hispanic audiences.

On Wednesday, Mr. Romney brought his conspicuous outreach to Miami, where he participated in a candidate forum hosted by Univision, the dominant Spanish-language television network in the country, and attended a late night “Juntos con Romney” (“Together With Romney”) rally.

Mr. Romney’s brutal primary campaign at times put him at odds with quarters of the Hispanic community, a fact that the hosts of the Univision forum did not shy from. They posed pointed questions about illegal immigrants and whether the Spanish language has a place in American life. (“Spanish,” Mr. Romney said, quoting a friend, “is the language of our heritage. English is the language of opportunity.”)

Despite repeated inquiries, Mr. Romney avoided saying whether he would continue a program to suspend deportations of young illegal immigrants announced in June by Mr. Obama. Instead he accused the president of using immigration as a “political football,” and he returned to a promise to “put in place a permanent solution” to illegal immigration.

Pressed for details, Mr. Romney said again that he would support giving legal permanent residence to illegal immigrants who serve in the military. But he also suggested he would support another big piece of a bill in Congress known as the Dream Act. “Kids that get higher education could get permanent residence,” Mr. Romney said, in what appeared to be another step away from his position during the nominating contests, when he said he opposed the Dream Act.

Mr. Romney rejected mass deportation of illegal immigrants, but he sidestepped a question about whether he still supported encouraging “self-deportation”—encouraging such immigrants to leave the country by strictly enforcing immigration rules, a position he has advocated before.

“We are not going to round up people around the country and deport them,” he said. “Our system is not to deport people.”

Alberto Martinez, an adviser, said the Romney campaign was organizing “the most aggressive Hispanic outreach of any Republican presidential campaign.”

But during a rally on Wednesday night in Miami, surrounded by Spanish signs and introduced by his [Romney’s] son Craig in Spanish, he argued that the Republican Party had earned the affections of Hispanic voters.

“This party,” he said, “is the natural home for Hispanic-Americans.”

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Romney to Pledge to Fix Troubled U.S. Immigration System

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will pledge to Hispanics on Monday that if elected he will fix the troubled U.S. immigration system in an appeal to a rising voter bloc that overwhelmingly favors Democratic President Barack Obama.

Romney’s immigration remarks to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will be aimed at shoring up a weakness in his candidacy: the fact that a huge majority of Hispanics support Obama.

Americans may disagree about how to fix our immigration system, but I think we can all agree that it is broken,” Romney will say.

In excerpts of his speech released by his campaign, Romney did not get into the specifics of how he would patch up a deep divide between Democrats and Republicans on the approach to repairing the U.S. immigration system.

After promising during his 2008 campaign to take on the immigration issue, Obama never followed through, leading to disappointment among various Hispanic groups.

Romney will point to Obama’s inability to work on the problem as a failure.

“Candidate Obama said that one of his highest priorities would be to fix immigration in his first year in office. Despite his party having majorities in both houses of Congress, the president never even offered up a bill,” Romney will say.

Romney will vow to “work with Republicans and Democrats to permanently fix our immigration system,” while stressing that any plan must first ensure the integrity of U.S. borders—a problem on which the Obama administration says it has already made progress.

“I believe we can all agree that what we need are fair and enforceable immigration laws that will stem the flow of illegal immigration, while strengthening legal immigration,” Romney will say.

“While national unemployment is 8.1 percent, Hispanic unemployment is over 10 percent. Over two million more Hispanics are living in poverty today than the day President Obama took office,” Romney will say.

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10-foot-tall anti-Romney neon sign erected in California neighborhood

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Complaints poured in Monday about a 10-foot-high wooden structure and neon sign in a quiet Newbury Park neighborhood that says “Romney’s Racist Heart Dotcom. Save the GOP.”

“It’s obnoxious. It’s an eyesore here. I wish it was gone,” said one neighbor.

Steven Showers, 59, built the display after doing research into Mormonism after it became apparent that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would get the Republican nomination for president, according to the Ventura County Star.

“I love it. It’s the way I designed it,” Showers said.

Showers, who describes himself as white, a Republican and Christian, told the Star, “I was stunned to find out that the Mormon religion is a white supremacist, anti-black, racist ideology.”

According to Showers’ website, the following ideology is “embedded” in Mormon doctrine: “White skin indicates a pure character before God. Anything less than white skin indicates a corruption of character before God. Black skin, according to Mormon Doctrine, is an indicator of the worst corruption of character before God.”

Incensed, Showers spent most of the month building the 10-foot-high sign with the large red, flashing neon sign that says, “Romney’s Racist Heart Dotcom. Save the GOP.” The structure was completed and plugged in Thursday, alongside a window sign in red neon lights that says, “Romney’s Racist Heart Dotcom.”

Members of the Church Of Latter Day Saints deny the racist doctrine and say they were disappointed in the sign.

Since Friday, Showers has gotten several complaints from neighbors upset about the sign’s size and political message. A Ventura County code inspector also left notice that the monument was a violation of zoning laws.

“I find it appalling. For someone to do something like this in a neighborhood, especially like our neighborhood. I can’t believe the government even allowed it. But he has a right to say what he wants, but people also have the right to be wrong,” a neighbor said.

The smaller 24-by-24 window sign is available for $800 via Showers’ website. According to the site, the word “racist” flashes on and off and will “become a valuable collector’s item, associated with an historic event in American political history, increasing in value in the years ahead.”

Showers said he plans on keeping the sign up, at least until the end of the Republican National Convention.

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