Poll: GOP in Texas Faces Major Hurdles In Recruiting Hispanics

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The original post said Adriana Maestas wrote for National Latina Institute of Reproductive Health, she is a writer for Politics365. The post has been corrected.

Ronald Reagan said, “Hispanics are already Republican. They just don't know it yet.”, and apparently they still haven't learned in Texas. For Republicans trying to connect with Hispanics there seems to be only bad news, and now a new poll suggests it's reflective of an actual disconnect Hispanics feel with the GOP. For the survey PAC+ interviewed 2,685 randomly selected registered Hispanic voters in Texas counties with the highest number of Latino eligible voters: Bexar, Dallas, Tarrant, El Paso and Harris. The findings give support to a major part of Democrats plan to take back Texas — register and turnout Latino voters. According to pollster Dr. Julie Martinez Ortega, “Latino voters make up 43% of the 'Texas Blue' vote,”.

Republicans most straightforward pitch to Hispanics has been to try and co-identify as “conservative” and play up shared family values. It appears that whatever assumptions about shared values Republicans made were incorrect. When asked, “When it comes to social issues — such as religion, abortion and same-sex marriage — which party do you generally think does the best job of representing your views? Democrats or Republicans?”, 58% said Democrats and only 24% identified with Republicans. This backs up other recent polls that show Hispanics by large margins support a woman's right to end her pregnancy. Adriana Maestas, Latina writer for Politics365, gave an early warning to Republicans over their “conventional wisdom” on Hispanics and social issues prior to the 2012 election when she said, “…if the GOP continues to reach out to Latino voters based on the perceived social agenda. These kinds of messages may not be well received this election year.” She was correct as 58% of those survey by PAC+ supported Obama and only 24% supported Romney.

On economic issues, “like jobs, the economy, and immigration”, Hispanics still identified most with Democrats at 57%. One of the most successful tools Republicans have used is recruiting Hispanic candidates. A majority of respondents said they were more likely to vote for a candidate because they were “Hispanic”, with 44% saying they would be much more likely. Senator Ted Cruz accordingly got 32% of the Hispanic vote, but 21% of those surveyed actually thought he was a Democrat.  Recruits or not, Republicans' hardline positions on issues like immigration and voter ID laws are likely to blunt any gains from individual candidates. A whopping 71% believe that “discrimination against Latinos” is a problem in the United States, with 36% saying it was a “big” problem. When asked about “voter suppression”, 59% said if they knew it was happening it would make them more likely to vote.

For full results click the jump…Click Here for the full poll results

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About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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