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How to Destroy the GOP in One Easy Step

by: Conservative First

Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 00:48:03 AM EDT

Since the results of the 2012 election came in, calls for amnesty for illegal aliens have increased dramatically. Many commentators have noted Mitt Romney's poor showing (28%) among Hispanics, and claimed that passing amnesty is the key to improving those numbers.

Senator Marco Rubio and the "gang of eight" in the Senate have been working on a "comprehensive immigration reform" (amnesty) bill, and President Obama has been making a major push for it.  We don't know the exact details of the bill yet.  But based on similar proposals by the same folks, we can reasonably surmise the general outline of its contents.

These bills all contain an immediate legalization (amnesty) of illegal aliens in exchange for a promise of improved immigration enforcement (border security, internal enforcement) in the future.  The trouble with such a "compromise" is that the enforcement is likely to be sabotaged by the same global elites and businesses that are preventing our current immigration laws from being effectively.

Incidentally, 'amnesty' is the correct term for legalization of illegal aliens.  Entering the US without authorization or overstaying a visa is not permitted under America's law, nor should it be.  The penalty for this infraction is deportation at a minimum (and could include jail time as well).  Allowing illegal aliens to stay waives this penalty and thus constitutes amnesty.  While many versions of amnesty contain some fine, this is a farce considering the much greater value of legal status and eligibility for many government benefits.

Note also that amnesty is not a "path to citizenship".  Citizenship would actually be worse than amnesty, since it would not only waive the penalty, but actually provide a benefit in addition.  Most illegal aliens likely care more about legal status than citizenship, but many powerful supporters of amnesty would like them to become voters as well.  Some versions of amnesty bill would delay citizenship for awhile, but it is all too likely that illegals would get it eventually, whether from a future democrat administration, or activist judges.  Even if they don't, their children will, due to birthright citizenship.

Many conservatives, including Michelle MalkinErick EricksonAnn Coulter, Phyllis Schlafly, Pat BuchananJohn O'Sullivan, and Victor Davis Hanson have come out against the plan, but the outcome remains in doubt.

This article will focus on the political implications of amnesty, though I certainly think that it is bad policy as well.  Is amnesty really essential to the Republican party's survival, or would it ensure its doom?  Consider several arguments.

Conservative First :: How to Destroy the GOP in One Easy Step

Do you really think that President Obama, most democrats in Congress, liberal activist groups, and the liberal media would be pushing amnesty if they thought it would help the Republican party?  Do the avowed opponents of the GOP have a history of giving the GOP good advice or bad advice?  (See the quadrennial campaign for a "pro-choice" vice-presidential nominee, for example.)  These same folks oppose popular and reasonable voter ID bills for political reasons, so they are hardly advocating the best interests of the country at their own political expense.

Of course, it is true that some Republicans also support the plan.  The question is who has the better political instincts, pro-amnesty Republicans, or democrats?  Hint: do we have President Obama and Senator McCain or Senator Obama and President McCain?


A. 1986

Amnesty has already been tried in the past.  The last major amnesty was in 1986.  Amnesty supporters love to point out that it was signed by President Reagan, but in fact, he signed it after he was convinced that it would only apply to a small number of illegals.  He later considered it the biggest mistake of his presidency, according to his good friend Attorney General Ed Meese.

The bill ended up amnestying about 3 million illegals.  It also led to a surge of illegal immigration, and led to a Hispanic baby boom which added millions of future democrats.

What were the political consequences?  Did Republicans improve their standing with Hispanics after the bill was passed? No.

  • In 1984, Reagan was reelected with 60% of the vote overall, and 37% of the Hispanic vote.
  • In 1988, Bush was elected with 53% of the vote overall, and 30% of the Hispanic vote.
Republican performance among Hispanics went down after amnesty passed.  Their percentage of the Hispanic vote actually went down by a greater proportion than overall.

B. 2004

One common claim from amnesty supporters is that George W. Bush got 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004.  While there was an exit poll claiming this, it was debunked by Steve Sailer at the time, and eventually retracted by the company.  Sailer noted that the poll showed absurd results such as Bush winning 64% of Hispanics in the South despite getting smaller percentages in Texas and Florida.

The actual percentage that Bush got has been estimated at 39-40%.  Now, it is true that this is still better than most Republican nominees.  Then again, someone who gets 40% overall is a landslide loser.

It is claimed that Bush's relatively good showing among Hispanics was due to his support for amnesty.  But four years later, John McCain was just as supportive of amnesty, if not more so, but received a paltry 31% of the Hispanic vote.  So what changed?  I don't have a complete answer, but I suspect that it had more to do with

  • The housing bubble in the "sand states" (California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida), partly engineered by Bush, that temporarily improved the economic fortunes of Hispanics before collapsing in 2007.
  • The fact that democrats nominated a stiff white guy, John Kerry, with no particular appeal to Hispanics (but who nonetheless won their votes in a 60% landslide).

If Republicans are going to appeal to Hispanics, they ought to know what their political beliefs actually are.  It is often claimed that Hispanics are "natural conservatives", pro-family, and sympathetic to the free market, whom Republicans could win if only they changed their position on immigration, the issue Hispanics care most about.  Is this true?


Actually, Hispanics support big government.



Notably, second-generation Hispanics are more democratic than first-generation Hispanics.

They also support Obamacare by significant margins.

This shouldn't be surprising.  Latin American countries, from whence Hispanics or their ancestors came, prefer big government, and there isn't much in the way of a small government movement there.


Hispanics may like big government, but at least they are pro-family social conservatives, right? Not so much.

Hispanics are not particularly socially conservative in their personal lives.  They are significantly more likely to have abortions, engage in teenage pregnancy, be dependent on government, and contract AIDS. They are significantly less likely to own businesses. They are significantly more likely to use welfare and not pay federal income taxes

The illegitimacy rate among Hispanics is very high.

Some 53 percent of Hispanic children are born out of wedlock, and 52 percent of Hispanic families are headed by single women.

While most Latin Americans are nominally Catholic, this is often very superficial.  They are less likely to attend church on a regular basis than whites.

Hispanics may have once opposed "gay marriage", but the latest polling indicates that they now support it.

Hispanics also support gun control by large margins, not surprising since many come from Mexico, which has very strict gun laws.

Another study found

Not likely, the same study found that 68% of second generation Hispanics say society should accept homosexuality (78% of Asians) and 55% of second generation Hispanics say abortion should be legal (66% of Asians). Among second generation Hispanic women who recently gave birth, 52% were not married.

Furthermore, if Hispanics are socially conservative, why don't they vote for social conservative candidates?  There are some socially conservative white democrats in Congress, but the Hispanic members of Congress are all social liberals.

So all Republicans have to do to win Hispanics' votes is change their position on immigration...and the size of government, the welfare state, Obamacare, gun control, gay marriage,...


What issues do Hispanics care most about?  Immigration might be the top concern for illegal aliens, but Hispanic VOTERS have other priorities.  One poll found

The poll found 48 percent of likely Latino voters think that the economy is the  most important issue in deciding their vote, while only 6 percent said their  vote would be decided based on the immigration issue.

Other polls have found that immigration is the top priority of only 11-15% of voters.

Notably, Obama advisor David Plouffe broke from the party line to deliver some facts about Hispanics' priorities.

But, I asked Plouffe, wasn't the G.O.P. just one postmodern presidential candidate - say, a Senator Marco Rubio - away from getting back into the game?

Pouncing, he replied: "Let me tell you something. The Hispanic voters in Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico don't give a damn about Marco Rubio, the Tea Party Cuban-American from Florida. You know what? We won the Cuban vote! And it's because younger Cubans are behaving differently than their parents. It's probably my favorite stat of the whole campaign. So this notion that Marco Rubio is going to heal their problems - it's not even sophomoric; it's juvenile! And by the way: the bigger problem they've got with Latinos isn't immigration. It's their economic policies and health care. The group that supported the president's health care bill the most? Latinos."


You might think that Hispanics favor amnesty and open borders with near unanimity, but this isn't true either.  Their views on the subject are actually quite mixed.


Another poll found that.

Hispanics are split when asked to assess the effect of illegal immigration on Hispanics living in the United States: 29% say it has had a positive impact, 31% negative and 30% believe it made no difference, according to the study by the non-partisan Pew Hispanic Center.

In 2004, 47% of Arizona Hispanic voters supported Proposition 204 to deny some government services to illegals.  While not quite a majority, that's a better percentage of the Hispanic vote than George W. Bush got the same year.


Some supporters of amnesty admit that Hispanics are liberal now, but that their views will become conservative over time if only the GOP changes its position on immigration.  As evidence, they point to the case of "great wave" immigrants, particularly Irish and Italian, many of whose descendants eventually became Republicans.

While this is true, there are a number of reasons to think that this analogy won't hold for Hispanics.

  • Immigration was cut off in 1924 and stayed low until 1965, giving the immigrant groups time to assimilate without continual reinforcement.
  • There was no welfare state at the time, and those who couldn't make it in America went home; now they can stay and become dependent on government.
  • The culture at large and established immigrant leaders supported assimilation, whereas now the culture and immigrant groups advocate multiculturalism and "diversity".
  • Great wave immigrants identified as white, whereas Hispanics are officially classified by the government as a distinct group which receives benefits such as affirmative action for maintaining a separate identity.
  • Even after several generations, Hispanics tend to lag behind the American average.  (See New Mexico, for example).
We obviously can't know the future for certain.  But even if you believe that Hispanics will eventually assimilate well, the best way to help that happen would be to cut off mass immigration, as occurred in 1924.


When discussing Hispanics, we should keep in mind that this is a fairly artificial category.  Just because the Census Bureau groups some people together, does not necessarily mean that they identify with each other.

Anybody from a predominantly Spanish-speaking country can be considered Hispanic.  This includes whites of Spanish origin, Indians the Spanish conquered, blacks whose ancestors were brought to Latin America as slaves, and many people descended from all of the above.  The largest groups of American Hispanics are Mexicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans.

The Hispanics most likely to vote Republican are

  • Cubans, mainly the white middle and upper class who fled from Castro's regime. (e.g. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz)
  • Mexicans (mainly in Texas and New Mexico) whose ancestors fled the leftist Mexican revolution in the 1910s.
Unfortunately for Republicans, most illegal aliens do not fall into either group, nor is there likely to be much more immigration from either group.  It remains to be seen whether Republicans can maintain their support from Cubans as the Castros fade from the scene.

Puerto Ricans are the most democratic Hispanic group, voting around 80% democrat.  Notably, this is true even though immigration is not an issue for them, since they are all US citizens who can move to the US at will.

Mexicans are somewhat less democrat than Puerto Ricans, but the illegal Mexicans come mainly from the poorer mestizo class of the country, which is unlikely to support Republicans.  It is dubious how much attraction a white Cuban like Rubio would have for them. One poll found Rubio with 24% favorability among Hispanics.


While we're at it, why not consider the views of Americans at large on immigration?  Numerous polls show a significant majority of Americans support restricting immigration (legal and illegal) and enforcing the law.

A poll by the Center for Immigration Studies found

Of likely voters, 52 percent responded that they preferred to see illegal immigrants in the United States go back to their home countries, compared to just 33 percent who would like them to be given legal status.

There is an enormous gap in intensity between the two views on immigration. Of those who want illegal immigrants to head home, 73 percent indicated that they felt "very strongly" about that view, while just 35 percent of those who want illegal immigrants to get legal status said they felt very strongly about this view.

A Reuters poll found
Thirty percent of those polled think that most illegal immigrants, with some exceptions, should be deported, while 23 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be deported.

Only 5 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States legally, and 31 percent want most illegal immigrants to stay.

Note that some polls claim to show support for amnesty by using deceptive wording ("earned legalization", "path to citizenship") and restricting the choice to only amnesty or "mass deportation".  This is a red herring, since most immigration restrictionists advocate "enforcement through attrition" (what Mitt Romney called "self-deportation"), that is enforcing the laws against working in America illegally, getting government documents and aid so that illegals decide to leave on their own.  This option consistently polls better than either of the other two.

The "controversial" Arizona immigration law is supported by around 60% of Americans in three polls.


Obviously the majority supporting restricting immigration goes well beyond hard-core Republicans or conservatives.  It must include many independents and democrats.

Shouldn't there be at least one party that represents their views?  Opposing amnesty and advocating restriction of immigration could appeal to many voters concerned about job losses and shatter the view that the GOP does nothing but advocate for big business.  Of course, we can and should take this position without demonizing Hispanics.

Supporting amnesty isn't going to win more Hispanic votes, as shown in this Center for Immigration Studies study of the 2006 election.  It would only lead to more third-world immigration in the future (138 million people worldwide say they want to move to the United States).  What can work, at least to a limited extent, is aggressive outreach, as shown by Rep. Steve Pearce, who represents a majority-Hispanic district in New Mexico and opposes amnesty.

Immigration is not some unstoppable force of nature.  Israel has successfully dealt with illegal immigration with tough border security, interior enforcement, and deportation of illegals.  America can follow her example.

Or we can take the left's advice about how to fix the GOP, and see the Stupid Party live up to its name one last time.

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1. Who is pushing the plan?  You might want to add a few other groups.  The Chamber of Commerce.  The Republican National Committee and other GOP establishment groups.  Evangelical Christian advocacy groups.  The Catholic bishops.  Basically the entire GOP establishment is pushing immigration reform.  Even Sean Hannity and Charles Krauthammer have come out in favor of some path to citizenship.

2. Show me a path to winning elections in the future where the Ds win 70% of the Latino vote, 90% of the black vote, and 70% of the Asian vote.
Without doing better among blacks and Hispanics, the only path to winning a supermajority of whites and that will require winning over socially liberal whites, and that will require moving significantly to the left on social issues.  That in turn will cause many white evangelicals/socons/populists to stay home, and we have a more centrist GOP which continues to lose elections. Repeat, lather, and rinse.

3. As I've stated before, for conservatism to have a long-term future, we have to win over generally conservative Latinos and blacks who currently don't even consider the GOP because of stereotypes they hold about the party, i.e. that Rs want to kick them out of the country.  Immigration reform is an absolute must in changing those stereotypes for Latinos.  The problem here isn't that Latinos consider immigration the biggest issue, but rather they won't even consider our pitch until they see a different attitude on that issue.  

4. Bush got 40% of the Hispanic vote.  That's still a heck of a lot better than the 27% Romney got.  Had Romney got 40%, he'd have lost by 1.2% nationwide than 3.85%.  Obviously just improving among Hispanics won't be sufficient, but it is necessary.  

5. There could be a price to pay in 2014 in reduced base turnout after passing immigration reform, but I'd rather take the hit for one midterm than for a generation.  And if the hard anti-immigration right really fights the establishment on a bill that is going to pass (whether you like it or not), that only harms the GOP and conservatives.

Christie 2016  

Where's the evidence?
The Chamber of Commerce wants cheap labor.  Should driving down wages be part of the Republican platform?  The GOP establishment hasn't been doing such great job lately.  Krauthammer was a speechwriter for Mondale in 1984.  Immigration has long been an issue of the elites against the public.

Conservative latinos are mostly voting Republican already.  There just aren't that many of them (see above).  Passing amnesty isn't going to help with blacks, who aren't particularly sympathetic to immigration.  We do need to do better with minorities, but increasing the size of those populations is suicidal.

Bush likely did as well as he did due to the housing bubble.  Reagan, Bush41, and McCain all supported amnesty and didn't do as well.

The 'hit' won't just be for one cycle, it will be forever.  That's because the size of the immigrant population will keep growing.  If you lose money on every sale, you aren't going to make a profit by increasing sales.

MI-6: Fed up with Fred Upton

[ Parent ]
The Latino population is growing
whether this bill passes or not.    When the native-born Latinos turn 18, they block vote against us on this issue.  Same with Asians..  The illegal immigrants won't be eligible for citizenship until late next decade.  But their kids (and kids of other legal immigrants) will be, and they'll block vote against us.  For a very long time.

The anti-immigrant rhetoric that has been deployed over the last few years (i.e. "self-deportation", "Juan McCain") has made it impossible for our party to reach out to Latinos.  Even those who are largely conservative (that is would vote GOP if they were white) and some who voted for GWB because they assume we don't welcome them here in this country.    
Passing immigration reform would give us a reset with that community.  Blocking it would make them D for the foreseeable future.

Unless the tone on these issues (and policy in some cases) change, we're not going to win enough of the minority vote to win national elections.  We're already in a hole, and unless you have a plan to win 30% of the black vote or 65-70% of the white vote, continuing to dig is not a great idea.  GWB in 2004 has been the only R to win 50+% in a generation.  I don't want to say the same thing 15-20 years from now.  

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Prop 187
The worst of all political worlds: take hard line position intended to decrease Latino population that proves impossible to implement. California Rs ended up with all the illegal immigrants; and an alienated legal Latino bloc. Was it worth one last winning year in 1994?  

The Obama Adminitration won't change the de facto amnesty so our choice is to punt until we can fix things our way or cut a deal now where we get some credit.  Which bad choice is better?  Because the worst choice IMO is to scream about the problem; anger Latinos, and watch the Dens keep the porous border keep running  

[ Parent ]
You are right that there is no great options here.  But continuing to use harsh rhetoric against immigrants and then blocking immigration reform is about the worst of the bad options we have.  

There is no guarantee we'll get a chance to "fix things" without cutting into the Latino vote.  I will tell you that if Hillary Clinton is getting 70% of the Latino vote in 2016, she'll be the next President (and win Florida).

I don't love the fact we have to pass questionable legislation for political reasons, but all the alternative options are worse.  The primary alternative is to get more of the white vote by moderating on social issues.  The result then will be for lesser evangelical/socon/populist turnout, and we'll be a more moderate party which still loses elections.  
You can have a conservative party or a heavily white party.  You can't have both anymore.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Same analogy
Is winning in 2016 worth comprising your party forever afterwards?

42, Ross Perot Republican, CA-10

[ Parent ]
Except 2016 won't be the only year
we wouldn't win.  It would be 2020, 2024, 2028, etc.  Eventually the Rs would come to their senses and kick these nativists out and appeal to non-whites.

Appealing to non-whites isn't an option to win elections anymore.  We can have a conservative coalition or a white coalition, but not both.  And the white coalition probably wouldn't win anyway.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
TX Model
If Republicans can consistently win 75% + white voters in Texas, why not target 65% + in places like OH/PA/MI/WI/MN/OR?  I am not comparing deep south here.

42, Ross Perot Republican, CA-10

[ Parent ]
You're comparing apples to oranges
The white population of Texas, compared to the white population of the upper midwest is less unionized, more affluent, more educated, and more Protestant, all of which mean "more Republican." So yeah, we could win that much of the white vote in those states, we'd just need the union members, working class, and Eastern European Catholic whites to magically disappear, which, of course, is happening, but very slowly.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
More than that
Most of the observant Catholic whites in the Midwest voted for us.  

The big difference between Southern whites (like Texas) and the rest of the country is secularism.  Whites outside the South are far more secular and socially liberal.  Unions matter to some extent, but even w/ weaker unions, we'd pick up at most 2-3% in the white vote.  Many of the current union members would be swept in with the D class warfare.  

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Yes and no
I was referring specifically to white ethnic Catholics (the stereotypical white-working class union members) who probably went Dem, or nearly went Dem.

Religion matters to an extent, but the types of whites (read: European country of origin), and socioeconomic status matter too. Germans and Brits tend to be more Republican, and the white population of Texas happens to be mostly Brit and German. Compare that to the larger contingency Eastern European, Irish, and Italian whites in the upper midwest. It's also worth noting that in Texas, those groups tend to be middle to upper middle class and fairly Republican, whereas in the upper midwest, they tend to be lower middle class and either lean Democratic, or have historically leaned Democratic.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Upper Midwest
has a lot of Scandinavians, who do lean D.  But the Polish, Czechs, etc don't anymore.  They used to be heavily D, but by the 1980s they were voting for Reagan (the younger ones assimilated and aren't very different from the general white population.)  Lower middle class whites that vote D are primarily secular, young, or union.

Among white voters, the number one factor in determination of political affiliation is religious intensity and type.  Which is why the Ds have a 35-40% floor among white voters except in landslides.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Romney did not mix his white vote share
If Democrats can routinely do 70% + with their preferred ethnic groups, why should not Republicans go for that same?  If Romney won some white sub-group by 50%+, why not target additional 10% there?  SImple math tells me that its lot easier to get your group to go from 50% to 60% than to seek additional 10% from low information filled group of other side.  One of our nannies here in CA (fellow south asian) once told us that she was going to vote democratic because that's how the volunteer filled her voter registration form at her naturalization ceremony!!  We had to remind that she can vote for anybody she prefers, not what her party registration is.

Romney absolutely did not maximize his white vote share.  He I think won the same % of white vote nationally as GHWB in '88, but remember GHWB lost WV and lot of places that look like WV which are 90%+ white, so it means that Romney's white vote share was a lot less outside near and deep south as compared to GHWB.  When you think what kind of additional white voters could Romney have goten on his side, it would mostly be regular middle of line socially and economically oriented voters primarily in big-10 states, where I think republicans need to exclusively focus their attention going forward.  

And here is the ultimate point for Indy1975, even if Romney got the same share of hispanic votes as much vaunted 40% of GWB, he still would have lost!!  What would your prognostication be if that had happened?  

42, Ross Perot Republican, CA-10

[ Parent ]
One of our nannies here in CA (fellow south asian) once told us that she was going to vote democratic because that's how the volunteer filled her voter registration form at her naturalization ceremony!!  We had to remind that she can vote for anybody she prefers, not what her party registration is.

Guess what this means?  These immigrants are persuadable!  They aren't as hopelessly D as you think!  You made my point here for me, that is we can win Latinos and Asians if we make a serious effort to do so, rather than concede them and just go after white votes.

If Romney had gotten 40% of the Latino vote and lost (and he'd have lost barely), then I'd actually be pretty optimistic because Obama maxed out among blacks.  Even if we did nothing, we'll cut into the black vote in 2016 due to no Obama on the ballot (both lesser turnout and a higher vote share among blacks.)
(We discussed yesterday about ways that we can amp up the black vote)

We didn't outright maximize our white %, but we came close.  The whites in 1988 were as a whole, more conservative than they are today on the issues that divide the parties.  We didn't have as many white young hipster social liberal types who have take no responsibility for their actions.  We didn't have nearly as many whites who are incredibly secular and hostile to Christianity.  Can we do better among whites in some circumstances?  Certainly.  If the economy collapses, we may get 65+, same if a popular GOP incumbent is running.  But for a neutral election (not one where there is a R wave), 60% is near the ceiling.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Sure you can try
I'm just saying you won't get those kind of numbers among whites there, except in a landslide for an incumbent.  
Most of the whites who voted for Obama don't agree with us on much.  Obama tanked among whites, doing worse than Dukakis in a voter pool that was a lot less conservative,  to the point that the Ds nearly bottomed out.  Almost every swing white voter went for Romney, including college educated white women (53-46 R) and whites under 30 (51-44 R), who were Obama's target throughout the campaign.  The polls throughout the campaign showed Obama in the lead among these groups.

The "War on Women" tempted many centrist white women to vote Obama, but at the end most voted Romney.  What it did do was to turn out liberal pro-Obama women in droves, but it didn't really switch votes.

What lost us the election is that most persuadable non-whites voted for Obama.  Romney's self-deportation garbage killed us with Latinos and Asians, and the demagoguery about Voter ID turned out blacks in droves.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
I agree on #2
We're approaching (or have met) the limit of what % we can get of the white vote as long as we're the Pro-Life party. Given that abortion is probably the last thing the Republican party is willing to change on, we need to look at avenues to capture more minority voters. Being the party of Bush and Rubio and not Tancredo and Arpaio is one piece of the puzzle.  

Rand 2016

[ Parent ]
I'd go further.  I would argue that even if we were to change our views on abortion and gay marriage, it would be difficult to win.  The reason is that most of the Obama voting whites don't agree with us with much.  (Obama really tanked among whites, pretty close to bottoming out.)  Add to that evangelicals/socons wouldn't show up in as big numbers (about the only white group that showed up in big numbers are white evangelicals, a record 26% of the voters.), and you're looking at a more moderate GOP that still loses elections.

There is only one path for Rs and conservatives to get a majority.  It's by winning over the subset of non-whites who are largely conservative, but reject us because of stereotypes (the biggest one is that we don't like them.).  To do so, we have to change our image with both words and actions, and immigration reform is one of the latter.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Not true
The # of non-white voters who are fundamentally conservative is very very small, I have not seen any data that backs it up.

42, Ross Perot Republican, CA-10

[ Parent ]
Self described liberals went to Obama 88-9, while conservatives to Romney 82-17.  Guess why there is such a difference?  (Had conservatives went to Romney 89-10, Romney wins the popular vote by more than 1%)

There are a lot of blacks/Latinos who are deeply religious and socially conservative who do not even consider voting R because of attitudes like yours.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
No, that difference is more because
Any liberal who is even the slightest bit open to voting Republican calls him/herself a "moderate".

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
That's part of it
but liberals made up 25%, which is a largest percentage in a while.  
Also I doubt 17% of self-identified white conservatives voted for Obama.  I'd believe 10%.  That number was goosed up by a significant percentage of minority conservatives voting for him.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Well here is one path
Dems won't be winning this kind of elevated support among groups as diverse as Asians and Hispanics going forward if Reps play their hand correctly.  You have groups that have way too much difference between them, you got a Indian neurosurgeon, a Koren small business owner, and a Mexican day laborer under the ame tent.  In no other part of the world do groups as diverse as these coexist over long time.  

42, Ross Perot Republican, CA-10

[ Parent ]
They'll coexist together when the Rs are seen as wanting them to "not be in the country".  I didn't say that, the RNC "autopsy" report said that.

Playing their hand correctly means passing comprehensive reform ASAP.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
And again you didn't show a path
You simply state that the D coalition will crack up if we sit on the sideline and do nothing.  It will, but it may take 20 years.

I don't want to be telling my kids (they're real young) when they're in college that GWB was the only R in my adult life who won the popular vote.)

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Amnesty not required
Okay, I'll take your point that Republicans need to be more welcoming of immigrants. But you can do that without supporting blanket amnesty like the one proposed right now with open borders through a faux guest worker program.  The biggest losers of a wide open labor market will be first generation immigrants themselves as they will be unable to move up the wage ladder in US.  We desperately need to bring this issue of loose labor market and wage stagnation on the national stage immediately, it seems that the evil coalition off hard-core left wing internationalists and right wing big business lobbies have effectively squelched this topic on both left and right.

Go back to the precedence of 1920's, the period between 1923 immigration moratorium and 1965 reopening remains one of the most remarkable periods off median family income growth, even including the tumultuous period of Great Depression and WWII.

Curiously, I believe that the non-white group that we might find most success in getting them to vote on our side are back males!!  The 20% Romney vote for <29 AA males is telling something.  Think of how much this group hurts from an open labor market, it's very hard to go from making $10/hour (current AA per capita wage) to $14/hour when there is a never ending supply of people willing to work at $8/hour.  When have we seen Republicans talk anywhere on this issue of stagnant lower income wages and open labor markets, never.

42, Ross Perot Republican, CA-10

[ Parent ]
It's probably telling the fact that
exit polls aren't completely accurate. I doubt Romney got 20% with Black males.  It's like Bush "getting" 45% with Hispanics.

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Communitarian, Civic Nationalist, Democrat, Francophile.

I'll become a conservative when America becomes a meritocracy

[ Parent ]
GWB likely did get 40% among Latinos
I agree about Romney among black males under 30.  20% might be in the confidence interval because it is so huge.  I doubt Romney broke 10% among them.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Yeah, he did get 40%
which is impressive and I think near the GOP's ceiling.  Good point on the confidence interval; I bet young Black men had very low turnout so it was hard to get a good sample.

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Communitarian, Civic Nationalist, Democrat, Francophile.

I'll become a conservative when America becomes a meritocracy

[ Parent ]
Wrong on one count
Not all Hispanics are social liberals in Congress.  Henry Cuellar is pro-life, as is Pete Gallego.  And Silvestre Reyes is too, although he lost the primary (but not due to his views on abortion).

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Communitarian, Civic Nationalist, Democrat, Francophile.

I'll become a conservative when America becomes a meritocracy

Cuellar and Reyes
both voted for Obamacare, which funds abortion.  I wouldn't call that pro-life.  We'll see about Gallego.

MI-6: Fed up with Fred Upton

[ Parent ]
Okay, but a majority of Americans would consider
that pro-life.

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Communitarian, Civic Nationalist, Democrat, Francophile.

I'll become a conservative when America becomes a meritocracy

[ Parent ]
"Do you really think that President Obama, most democrats in Congress, liberal activist groups, and the liberal media would be pushing amnesty if they thought it would help the Republican party?"

It's not all about elections. In the end you just do the whole elections stuff so you get to implement your policy.  

With this administration and political environment?
I wouldn't hold my breath ...  

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
You guys don't get to complain that both we passed Obamacare over the opposition of the American voters and that we only do stuff that's politically opportune. That's a contradiction.

[ Parent ]
In a way Obamacare was both
Over the opposition of voters, absolutely. But the law was also carefully structured to maximize Dems' political gain from it--throwing a bone to the most volatile part of the Obama coalition (young voters) right away and backloading both the mandate and most of the taxes.

[ Parent ]
The Obamacare calculation
is that it would make people more dependent on government and move the country to the left over the long term.  And it will, unless it is so bad that people revolt and it is repealed.  It hurt dems in 2010, but Obama was more than willing to sacrifice house dems for the long term gain.

MI-6: Fed up with Fred Upton

[ Parent ]
Liberals & libertarians
Liberals like increased immigration as an unalloyed good. Libertarians seem to have theoretical problems but are far more angry about any form of effective enforcement mechanism (E-Verify; ID cards; raids) than the problem itself  

Maybe they have some weird Cloward-Piven concept that this will smash the welfare state; like Grover Norquist's quaint idea low taxes would limit government  

Excellent post
Your analysis is spot on.

Republican in deep blue MI-14

I agree completely
I must admit I used to be a Wall Street Journal type on this issue, but have more or less moved away from that position as its evident that an amnesty will lead to an increase in the size of government.  Most immigrants from Latin America are coming from very dysfunctional countries where corrupt statism is the norm and supported by the populace.

29, Republican, PA-6

Support of Anmesty not a treasure trove of votes for GOP
I agree that broad support of amnesty will not create a treasure trove of Hispanic votes for the GOP.  Hispanic voters tend to vote Dem for a variety of reasons (e.g., income level, way parents, neighbors vote, etc.).  It is important that Repubs not be seen as anti-Hispanic or threatening to Hispanics.  That's why Repubs should stay away from Arizona style laws that (rightly or wrongly) make many Hispanics feel they will be bothered by the police.  Hispanics have higher unemployment than non-Hispanic whites, so an illegal immigrant "legalization" creates more competition for jobs for lower income Hispanics looking for work who are citizens or who came here legally. So "legalization" doesn't really do much for many low income Hispanic voters.  So if you think illegal immigrant "legalization" is the right thing to do, then support it, but don't support it because you think it will cause Hispanic voters to flock to the GOP; because it won't.      

Every plan has a long gap between ammesty & citizenship
So the real impact on the voter rolls won't happen till after the next census
Q: does opposing amnesty hurt our ability to win elections & fix things in '16, '18 & '20?  

[ Parent ]
In this particular case
No illegal immigrant will become a citizen before 2025.  The hit we're taking is from Latinos and Asians who are citizens, and those who will turn 18 in the next few years.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
And do you really think....
That passing amnesty will make these voters vore R?  

42, Ross Perot Republican, CA-10

[ Parent ]
It will get some of them to think about these issues in a non-racial manner, and consider the Rs seriously.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
There is no basis
...for your assertion.  Let's say I take your assertion that passing amnesty will make this issue go away, the question is what comes next?  Taxes, spending, education?  Take an issue and you will find Hispanics on the far left spectrum, far away from the mainstream of Republican positions. So if Republicans have to move far left on these positions to get Hispanic voters, why not do it without supporting amnesty? You might get a lot of poor white and black voters with that anyway, without providing Democrats with additional 7 - 10 M voters.

42, Ross Perot Republican, CA-10

[ Parent ]
Not true at all
This is complete bogus.  

First lets realize why blacks/Hispanics don't vote for us.  Yes a lot of them support economic liberalism.  But Obama won a lot of blacks/Latinos who are not liberals.  Many of them are social conservatives.

The fundamental reason why blacks/Latinos don't support us is our attitude toward them.  I've seen time and again on this site and among others on the right really bogus stereotypes about how blacks/Latinos all love being on welfare and will never will vote for us.  Well if you have that kind of attitude and you don't make an effort to appeal to them, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  If people feel that you don't like them, they won't vote for you.  

And idea that a path to citizenship provides the Ds 7-10 million new voters is false.  Many of those under the plan will never apply for citizenship.  Many of them won't vote.  And if you tone down the bogus rhetoric, some of them may even vote R.  And except for "Dream Act" people (and Rick Perry is right here), none of them will be eligible for citizenship until 2025 at the earliest.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
Blacks and Hispanics are not anti-Repbublican
They are pro-Democrat.  If they voted for Democrats not so much because they were pro-Dem but because of dislike of the GOP they would occasionally vote for third parties and independent candidates if only as protest votes once in awhile.  In reality they almost never do.  Ross Perot, John Anderson, Ralph Nader, the Constitution Party, the Libertarian Party, etc. all pulled a vastly disproportionate share of their votes from whites.  It doesn't matter where on the spectrum a non-Dem candidate is from - nonwhites won't vote for them.  The most prominent third party and independent movements always come from heavilly white places like Alaska, Vermont, Maine, and Minnesota.

Your claim that Republicans adopt rhetoric hostile to blacks and Hispanics is completely false.  The GOP overwhelmingly goes out of its way to favor them at the expense of whites.  They encourage celebrations of racial pride (but never white pride).  They draw electoral districts to favor urban minorites over suburban whites.  Most of Republican establishment does everything it can to maintain current affirmative action and racial preference programs and shuns people like Ward Connerly.  Blacks Republicans in particular are promoted by party leadership far more than white candidates with similar credentials (Remember JC Watts getting a high level leadership position in the US House after only 4 years).  The Republican Party is fanatically pro-racial minority - just not to the same degree as the Democratic Party.

Republican in deep blue MI-14

[ Parent ]
That basic views on the size of the government are driven by a feeling that Republicans don't welcome to.

Minorities vote Democratic because American minorities are primarily left-wing. Messaging matters much less than some people think.

Liberal Cosmopolitan, NH-2 (College), CA-15 (Hometown)

[ Parent ]

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