Last fall, we correctly predicted that the raging anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from portions of the Republican party would not fly during the election. (*Please note, I am not conflating Republican with anti-immigrant. Not all Republicans are anti-immigrant and they are plenty of anti’s among the Democratic party. However, the most extreme of the anti’s do seem to come from the Right). During November’s election, Latino and New American voters proved to be this past year’s “soccer moms”, swinging Democratic in huge numbers and effectively sealing the Democratic party’s decisive victory.
Today’s front page of Politico continues this storyline, discussing the GOP’s fear that the mass exodus of Latino voters may leave the party politically powerless.
Driven by some Republicans’ sharp attacks on illegal and — as many Hispanics perceived it, immigrants in general — Latino voters fled the GOP en masse in the midterm elections, then turned on John McCain, as well.
He got 31 percent of the Latino vote to the 44 percent that George W. Bush took in 2004, according to exit polls. And it was enough to put much of the West and Southwest out of reach for the Republican Party, to give Florida to the Democrats and to hand Barack Obama the presidency.
Now, as Obama moves to solidify his advantage, Republican leaders are sounding the alarm on what could be the party’s most pressing national challenge.
While the article continues in detail about the political ramifications of this, I just want to note that, as I’ve said before, using immigration as a wedge issue and pushing anti-immigrant policies is political suicide.