The Myth Of Republicans, Bush And The Latino Vote

By Dr. Henry Flores

I’ve been angry about something for quite a while, and that is the continuous barrage of the media saying that George Bush received 44% of the Latino vote in the 2004 general election.  This continuing attempt to create truth out of thin air indicates two things: a lack of respect for legitimate Latino pollsters and a refusal to admit that the Republican Party’s agenda has never and will never resonate with Latino voters.

Let’s take one issue at a time.  First, let’s talk about the origin of the 44%.  It came from an Edison-Mitofsky poll that was discredited by polls conducted by the William C. Velasquez Research Institute, Zogby International, and The Miami Herald.  Edison-Mitofsky was the polling agency contracted by NBC to do election day exit polling that was used to predict which candidate was winning which state that day.  Both the Miami Herald and Zogby poll found that Bush had received 33% and William C. Velasquez had found that he had been supported by only 31.4% of Latino voters.  In an interview conducted post-poll of Mr. Warren Mitofsky by this writer he admitted that his sample of Latinos over-sampled the Miami-Dade County area and possessed an over abundance of Cuban votersMitofsky admitted that his sample had not been designed to poll Latinos and that those who were polled appeared in his sample haphazardly.  In short, the 44% that the media insists upon using as a high mark for Latino support of Republican presidential candidates was the result of faulty methodology. 

The mainstream media, it appears, is trying to perpetuate a myth based on a falsehood that Latinos are a naturally Republican leaning electorate and that the GOP has a chance to swing the Latino vote by simply placing an Hispanic face on the presidential ticket.  At times, Marco Rubio, Susanna Martinez or other Latino Republicans are touted as the Latino who will rescue the presidential elections for the Grand Old Party.

The only thing that will swing the Latino vote for the GOP is for the party to abandon the platform it has used to organize the right wing quacks who have gained control of the party apparatus.  Republicans, for idoelogical reasons, have lost the African American, women’s and the Latino votes.  The only ones supporting the GOP are extremists, and moderate conservatives (for instance Olympia Snowe) don’t know where to turn now that their Grand Party has been taken to the brink of irrelevancy by reactionaries.

Lets return to my two issues.  The first is that I want the mainstream media to start telling the truth and respect bone-fide pollsters who reach conclusions other than those they espouse.  Essentially, this disprespects both the pollsters, some of whom are Latino operated, and the Latino community’s opinion.  Currently, Latino Decisions, the foremost Latino owned and one of the most technically competent national polling companies,  is getting a great deal of pressure becuase they found that the Republican presidential candidates are only looking at less than 20% support among Latinos.  Secondly, saying that Latinos are natural conservatives and all it takes to move the Latino vote from one party to another is by placing a Latino face on the ballot is an insult to Latino voters who cast their ballots rationally by not supporting a party that espouses racist immigration positions and economic policies that run counter to the interests of working and poor people.

So, if some people see my anger as misplaced, so be it, because I think I have every reason to be angry.  Don’t you?

[Photo by Image Editor]

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