No, the margin of victory for Obama came from Hispanic voters. "A big reason I will win a second term," he told the Des Moines Register just before the election, "is because the Republican nominee and Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community."
It gives me no pleasure to say that I've been warning of this for many years. Conservatives and Republicans simply must address Hispanic voters in terms that do not sound hostile. As Sen. Marco Rubio put it to Juan Williams, "It's very hard to make the economic argument to people who think you want to deport their grandmother."
Hispanics comprised 10 percent of the electorate this year. If Mitt Romney had received the 44 percent of the Hispanic vote that George W. Bush obtained in 2004, he'd be moving into the White House in January. In key swing states, the Hispanic vote was crushing: 58 to 40 in Florida, 87 to 10 in Colorado, 80 to 17 in Nevada, and 66 to 31 in Virginia. Republicans were clobbered among Hispanics because the Republican primary electorate rewarded candidates for bellicosity regarding illegal immigration. In the midst of discussions of border guards, moats, and "self-deportation" during the Republican primaries, there was precious little appreciation for the contributions of legal Hispanics to American life and culture. The Republican convention showcased some of the talented Hispanics in the party, but it wasn't enough to overcome the harsh negativity of the primary season. Even Asian voters appear to have been alienated by the Republican tone, giving Obama 73 percent of their votes.
The irony, for those Republican primary voters who demanded tough stances on immigration, is that this is one problem Obama has inadvertently solved. The economy is so lousy under his stewardship that immigrants have stopped coming.
Obama failed at everything except pandering to his base. Republicans failed at only one thing -- but it was devastating.
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