Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Myth Amnesty will Help Republicans Among Hispanic Voters

Senators John McCain, Lindsey Grahmnesty, and Marco Rubio, former President George W. Bush, and his aspiring brother Jeb Bush all want you to believe that if the GOP doesn't support "comprehensive immigration reform" and a path to legalization, aka amnesty, for illegal immigrants, the GOP will never win another presidential election.  We've already told you how the nation's changing demographics have already cemented that reality, with the GOP winning the popular vote only one time in 25 years, now let's take apart the myth that being tough on illegal immigration hurts GOP candidates.

First, let's look at the Hispanic vote over the last 50 plus years of presidential elections:

1960: Kennedy (D) 85%, Nixon (R) < 15%.

1964: Johnson (D) 61%, Goldwater 38.4%.

1968: Humphrey (D) 87%, Nixon (R) 10%.

1972: McGovern (D) 60+% , Nixon (R) 35%.

1976: Carter (D) 82%, Ford (R) 16%.

1980: Carter (D) 60.1%, Reagan (R) < 40%.

1984: Mondale (D) 66%, Reagan (R) 34.8%.

Of special note, in debates during the '84 presidential election Reagan actual called for amnesty, by name, for illegal immigrants.  In 1986, he would go on to sign the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act.  Still, his share of the Hispanic vote actually went down over his 1980 election despite his percentage of the popular vote growing significantly.

1988: Dukakis (D) 70%, Bush (R) 30%.

George HW Bush was the VP to Reagan, the only modern President to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.  Yet, his share of the Hispanic vote declined from Reagan's despite the election being held just 2 years after amnesty was granted.

1992: Clinton (D) 61%, Bush (R) 25%, Perot (I) 6%.

1996: Clinton 71%, Dole (R) 21%.

2000: Gore (D) 67%, G.W. Bush (R) 31%.

2004: Kerry (D) 67.7%, G.W. Bush (R) 31.4%.

President Bush pushed for "comprehensive immigration reform" throughout 2005, 2006 and 2007.  Aided by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

2008: Obama (D) 67%, McCain (R) 31%.

Before running for office Sen. McCain championed, along side President Bush, a "comprehensive immigration reform" plan that would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.  McCain was one of the foremost supporters in the GOP for amnesty.  Yet, his share of the Hispanic vote actually declined from what Bush received in the prior election.

2012: Obama (D) 71%, Romney (R) 27%.

What this data reveals is that even the most ardent supporters of amnesty like Reagan, Bush, and McCain actually lost support among Hispanics after enacting immigration reform plans that provided paths to citizenship for illegal immigrants.  This evidence directly contradicts what supporters of "comprehensive immigration reform" claim about the future prospects of the Republican party if they continue to call for enforcement of existing immigration laws.

But, don't take our word for it.  Let's look at what the academics say:

A study published in Social Science Quarterly concluded that there was, "no evidence that incumbent Republicans could increase their share of the Latino vote by embracing less restrictive immigration policies. In fact, doing so may cost them votes among non-Hispanic whites."

The government estimates anywhere from 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants, the vast majority of which are Hispanic, would be granted legal status if current iterations of "comprehensive immigration reform" were to become law.  If the average party support of Hispanic voters over the last 50 plus years were to hold true, then the Democrats would gain 69.7% of those legalized immigrants as new voters or between 7 and 8.5 million new voters.  Now imagine that 10 to 12 million illegal immigrant number is closer to the 20 million independent immigration organizations estimate...

President Obama won the 2012 popular vote by less than five million votes.  And THEY want to talk to us about the future prospects of the Republican Party if they do not support "comprehensive immigration reform"?  Really?


Anonymous said...

OK GOP, if you are going to cater to hispanics, you better raise taxes.

You might even have to throttle back on your support of Israel.

But I doubt you are going to address the above because this is not about getting votes. For the GOP this is about cheap labor.

theKansasCitian said...

I agree, totally. For the establishment class Republicans out supporting "comprehensive immigration reform", it is solely about cheap, slave-like labor for special interests. They'll destroy the party and the country to appease some of their big donors.

Anonymous said...

I have a general question about amnesty. McCain and others have told us that we need these people to do the jobs that Americans won't do. Assuming this statement is true, what happens when these folks become American citizens? Will they still do those jobs that Americans won't do? And if they no longer do the jobs Americans won't do, does that mean we need to continually open the pipeline in perpetuity for workers to do the jobs Americans won't do?

If that is the case, that sounds like a crazy strategy and a guaranteed road map to trying to catch up with India and China in population.

theKansasCitian said...

Jobs Americans won't do... at that wage... at that wage...

Why does everyone ignore market principles when it comes to labor? If Americans won't pick your strawberries or cut your grass for $4 an hour, you need to raise your wages paid.

If you pay them, they will come. A great example is what is going on in ND. Wal-mart is paying $17 an hour for starting employees, they aren't looking to import slave-wage labor from Mexico.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where you pulled your stats but you are clearly wrong in your breakdown for the 2004 election. GW Bush won 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004, not 31% as you suggest.

Check your numbers.

Anonymous said...

The Pew Hispanic Center puts Bush's share of that demographic at 40% in 2004 as compared to 34% in 2000.

See table 7 in this PDF.

theKansas Citian said...

My numbers came from NY Times exit polls and LA Times exit polls. The Pew Hispanic Numbers came from surveys after the fact in which someone is likely to report voting for Bush because he won, even though they didn't. People don't like admitting they voted for the loser.

theKansas Citian said...

Here is another source with similar stats and this source is biased towards granting amnesty:


Anonymous said...

The bottom line is that pushing amnesty does not get the GOP the hispanic vote. Even if Bush's numbers in 2004 approached 40%, which is still a blowout loss, he wasn't pushing amnesty until after that election in 2006 and 7. This means McCain, who supported both amnesty pushes and even coached the the protestors to drop the Mexican flags and pick up Old Glory, should have benefited in 2008. But he did not.