Poll Finds GOP Unpopular Among Latinos

By Henry Flores, Ph.D.

The last time I was here I promised to tell you about a Republican poll of Latino voters that has them worrying to no end.  It was conducted by Moore Information and Strategic Analysis between March 12-14 of this year.  This company provides “information and strategic analysis” to the Republican Party and candidates generally.  Moore conducted this poll of 400 likely California Latino voters to see how they felt about certain positions the Republican Party took on various issues.  The results were, to say the least, unnerving.

Bad news for GOP

The pollsters found that 47% of Latinos had an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party as opposed to a 62% favorable impression of Democrats.  Only 22% of Latinos felt that Republicans should stick to “core values and nominate true conservatives.”  A third of Latinos said they would never vote for a Republican but a third said that they would consider voting for Republican candidates if they moved toward the center and “nominate candidates that are less conservative.”

The poll found that 75% of Latinos did not look favorably on the Arizona immigration law with 67% of Latinos favoring a pathway to citizenship.  Among those Latinos who identified themselves as Republican in the poll 57% favored a pathway to citizenship.  So, immigration policy is a huge issue with Latino voters regardless of ideological orientation.

The poll found that California Latinos see Republicans the same regardless of what state they come from.  So a Republican from Kansas is the same as a Republican from Texas and is the same as a Republican from Minnesota. This may prove a major barrier for any Republican candidate to overcome if one of their “loose cannon” candidates starts publicizing attitudes which comes across as anti-immigrant or anti-Latino.  This perception, in turn, could infect other Republican campaigns.

Republicans can’t have it both ways

The poll did discover that there were ways on issues such as health care, education and immigration to communicate with Latinos.  The only problem is that a Republican would have to give up their core beliefs in order to win over Latinos voters.  Latinos simply are not attracted to the policy positions of the Republican Party.

In short, the poll takers concluded that it will be very difficult for the Republican Party to attract Latino voters if they do not start moderating their views and positions on issues important to Latinos. Yes, Latinos are basically conservative in their life styles, embracing family values, going to church and so forth, regardless, Latinos have always felt they (we) have been given short shrift by the Republican Party.  The Republican Party always seems to view itself as nativist and anti-immigrant and this is an unwelcoming attitude to us.

[Photo by Campanero Rumbero]

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