As immigration reform grinds its way through the U.S. Senate, the main focus has rightly been on the legislation's policy consequences. But there are important political implications, especially for the GOP, that are worth examining.He backs up his statement with facts and figures, and notes:
The reality is that the nonwhite share of the vote will keep growing. As the American Enterprise Institute's Henry Olsen pointed out in a recent speech, the nonwhite vote as a share of total voters has increased in every presidential election since 1996 by 2% (much of it Hispanic) while the share of the white vote has dropped by 2% each election.Will the GOP listen? Time will tell.
If the GOP leaves nonwhite voters to the Democrats, then its margins in safe congressional districts and red states will dwindle—not overnight, but over years and decades.
Immigration reform is a top issue for Latinos as it is being debated in Washington, according to a March Latino Decisions poll. But their other major concerns—the economy and jobs, and education reform—are the same as the rest of America.
Nor will support for immigration reform solve all of the GOP's challenges in appealing to Hispanic voters. Republicans also need compelling messages on jobs, economic growth, social mobility and education. They also must show up. GOP pollster Jan van Lohuizen's focus groups found a major Latino complaint is that they never see Republicans in their communities to make the GOP's case.