Ronald Reagan once said that Latinos were Republicans. They just didn’t know it yet.
Never before has the GOP hoped those words were truer than in the upcoming fall elections leading into the 2016 American electoral marathon better known as the presidential campaign.
It is not new that many, including some conservative Republicans, believe that Latinos hold the fate of upcoming political elections in their hands.
What is new, though, is just how diligent and undeterred the GOP has been in quietly wooing the traditionally loyal Hispanics, trying to help them discover that, as the party patron saint Ronald Reagan said, they are Republicans and just haven’t realized it.
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In recent months, the GOP has been spending $10 million in improving its Hispanic field operations in key states and flooding the air with Spanish-language advertisements.
The Republican National Committee has also launched “Hispanic engagement field teams” in nine states, with two dozen paid staff members on the ground reaching out to Latinos.
“The message we are going to give Latinos is about jobs, about education and about Obamacare,” says the GOP’s Rosario Marin, the California political operative who was U.S. treasurer under George W. Bush.
Marin, now a RNC advisory board member, insists that the national debate on immigration has not hurt Republicans, pointing to Chris Christie carrying 51 percent of the Hispanic vote in his gubernatorial reelection triumph last year in New Jersey, and the GOP’s David Jolly winning a special congressional election in Florida.
In fact, a Pew Hispanic Center survey agreed that immigration is not the most important issue to Latinos, ranking behind education, the economy and health care.
Marin and others maintain that the anti-Republican sentiment over the congressional impasse is exaggerated and offset by President Obama’s struggles with the immigrant community over deportations.
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The GOP is also drawing encouragement from a recent Gallup poll in Texas in which more Latinos identified themselves as Republican than in the country as a whole.
Democrats hold a 30 percent advantage among Latinos over Republicans nationally, but that difference is only 19 percent in Texas, where Democrats had hoped to make inroads into the GOP’s two-decade stranglehold on the Lone Star State in this mid-term election.
One of those Texas Latinos who may go Republican this fall is James Duarte, a retired state employee and lifelong Democrat who says he can’t see himself voting for gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis – paradoxically over the issue that made her the state’s Democratic Party darling
To read full story: http://voxxi.com/2014/07/20/gop-lust-latinos-picks-up-steam/