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Can Republicans Win the Hispanic Vote?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

New Census data shows the continued trend that the United States is becoming a nation increasingly less white.

According to this latest report, 48.6% of children born in the U.S. between July 2008 and July 2009 were “non-white minorities.” That’s up two percentage points from two years earlier, and soon the figure will cross the 50% mark.

The largest growth demographic is Hispanics, who accounted for almost 55% of our population growth. And, most of this growth – two thirds – came from births, not from immigration.

Rush Limbaugh

Aside from the knowledge that the country is becoming more colorful, an obvious thing we’ve got to be thinking about is what this means politically. Given that Democrats have been getting the majority of Hispanic and black votes – the two largest minorities – the straightforward conclusion appears to be that demographic trends favor the Democrat Party.

In the 2008 elections, white voters, for the first time ever, accounted for less than 75% of the total vote. It’s been noted that if each ethnic group voted as it did in 2008, but made of up the same percentage of the electorate as it did 20 years ago, John McCain would be our president today.

Clearly, demographic realities present real challenges to the Republican Party and the values that it is supposed to be championing – limited government and free markets.

Most recent polling from Gallup shows Hispanics generically favoring Democrats over Republicans by 2 to 1.

Republicans have got to make headway with this population.

We need them for building the political consensus to make the critical changes to fix our country - cutting the massive growth in government that Democrats have put in motion, cutting spending to eliminate trillion dollar deficits, reducing our now massive $13 trillion dollar debt, and to come up with creative solutions to the $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities we’re now looking at in our major entitlement programs – Social Security and Medicare. And, of course, holding the line on taxes.

Otherwise stated, if Republicans cannot start pulling in a bigger chunk of this Hispanic vote, it will be tough to be optimistic that we’ll be able to reverse the direction that Democrats have initiated – transformation of our country into a European style social welfare state.

Can Republicans reverse this political trend?

I say yes. The reason is that it is in the interests of our Hispanic citizens to support what Republicans are trying to do.

We’ve got in front of us right now two contrasting snapshots of what America’s future could look like. These two snapshots happen to be our two states with the nation’s largest Hispanic populations. California and Texas.

California today is America’s Greece. Over-governed, over-taxed, over-regulated, over-unionized, with excessive spending and impossible entitlements commitments. If you want to know the path that our federal government is now on, just look at California.

In a recent survey by Chief Executive magazine, CEOs rated California as the worst state in the country for doing business. It is the only state they awarded a grade of “F” in the category of “Taxation and Regulation.”

Over the last year and half, California lost over a million jobs and its overall level of employment is down where it was ten years ago. Its unemployment rate is several points above the national average.

Texas, on the other hand, was rated number one by CEOs. A low tax, low regulation, right-to-work state, unemployment in Texas is several points below the national average. And Texas has had net positive job creation through the recent recession.

Hispanics who think California is model for America’s future can keep voting for Democrats. But my guess is most will prefer the Texas model.

If Republicans make this choice clear to these folks, political change has got to happen.

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