Are Hispanics the New Republicans?

Democrats hold an edge with Hispanics in national elections, but Latinos’ growing tendency to register as independents and split their vote between parties is buoying Republican prospects for 2008, according to Fox News.

This is a nightmare for Democrats, but it is likely that Hispanics will move toward conservatism as they grow older, own property, and raise children. So if the Republicans don’t alienate the entire demographic group with careless rhetoric in the immigration debate, they will benefit. Don’t forget that the strongest foe of illegal immigration is a legal immigrant, so those trying to control the influx of illegals won’t lose Hispanic immigrants if they aren’t abusive and vindictive.

I’m finishing The Right Nation, by two Brits, John Micklethwait and Adrian Woodridge (2004). This related paragraph:

“[Republican optimists say] that Latinos are worthy strivers–hard working, God-fearing, family-oriented and upwardly mobile. They have the highest male workforce participation rate of any measured group–and one of the lowest incidences of trade union membership and welfare dependency (only 17 percent of immigrant Latinos in poverty collect welfare and 65 percent of poor blacks). Latinos are arguably the most family-oriented ethnic group in American society. They also have a marked propensity to start their own businesses and buy their own homes–both incubators of Republicanism.”

Could be a good trend for Republicans…

Or Republicans could be dead right on all aspects of the illegal immigrant debate, and perhaps even win on many fronts–and end up giving the Democrats a New Deal type lock on an entire segment of the population, and being out of power for the next couple of generations.

Something to think about.

–Jim Jewell

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About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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