Photo by AP.
Yesterday a research group in Texas released extensive polling data among registered Lone Star voters, Beyond Bush, Texas Republicans in an Obama era. The report warns the Texas GOP that,
“Hispanic voters won’t affiliate with the GOP simply because we insist they really have nothing to complain about and ‘should’ since they are socially conservative too; we need to actually listen to their concerns, tone down the rhetoric and attitude, find common ground on immigration/assimilation, and take concrete steps to make them feel welcome.”
The report goes on to say that in order for the Texas GOP to maintain/win-back power they have to appeal to the “critical middle” of their own party and adds, “Like it or not, these [critical middle] voters don’t care about illegal immigration or traditional values with the same intensity as our base…but taxes and the cost of government can serve as an effective bridge.”
Conservative darling, Karl Rove has also been doing his fair share of finger wagging at GOP leaders. Again this week at a debate in NYC Rove told an Upper East Side audience:
“The party of Lincoln needs to make a concerted appeal for African-American votes, knowing that in the short term it is going to pay off not one twit, and in the long run, it has a moral obligation as a great political party to represent all Americans. And it can only do that by making the case to African-Americans and Latinos. And Republicans have a similar problem brewing among Latinos. George Bush got forty-four percent of the vote among Latinos, John McCain, who was a courageous, early advocate of immigration reform, got thirty-one. We cannot take the largest, fastest growing minority in America and write it off like we did with African-Americans.”
Reports are also hinting that Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL)-the only immigrant member of the Senate-may not be running for reelection in 2010 under the Republican banner due to his party’s stand on immigration.
The Sun Sentinel explained his dilemma when they wrote “his attempts to become the new face and voice of the Republican Party – to reach out in particular to Hispanics with an inclusive message that embraced immigration reform – sparked a backlash from many voters and jeopardized his chances for re-election.” Florida editorial boards are encouraging Martinez to use his remaining two years to continue the fight for immigration reform.
The Immigration Policy Center also compiled a one-stop analysis this week of all the available data on the Asian, Latino and New American vote this election cycle, which also shows that a majority of these voters rejected the Republican party due to its intolerant and heated rhetoric against Hispanics.
The evidence has become overwhelming-the GOP needs a new strategy. Hopefully they are listening.