5 Things Republicans Can Do to Recruit More Hispanic Voters

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Marco Rubio

If the Republican nominee for President in 2016 would like to have a chance to win, he or she must receive significantly more Hispanic votes than Mitt Romney did in 2012.  As Republicans attempt to improve their outreach with Hispanic voters, this article offers five things they can do to gain more Hispanic voters.

1.      Nominate Senator Marco Rubio for President in 2016.  By nominating Senator Marco Rubio for President in 2016, this sends Hispanics a substantive and symbolic message that the Republican Party is committed to ameliorating its relationship with Hispanics and to championing policies that will make a difference in their lives.  Hispanics need to see a Hispanic nominated on a national Republican ticket, and Senator Rubio is an excellent choice for fulfilling their longing.

2.      Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  Congressional Republicans must be active in passing comprehensive immigration reform to bolster the number of Hispanics who vote for the Republican nominee for President.  Republicans need to support a bill that would include the Dream Act, a pathway to legal citizenship, and grant a temporary legal status to undocumented workers who don’t have criminal records.  Yes, include strong border security in the bill, but don’t let your passions for border security blockade granting a temporary legal status for undocumented workers who don’t have criminal records.

3.      Don’t Mention the Word “Deportation.”  When Republicans mention the word “deportation,” they send Hispanics unwelcoming messages.  These messages are usually linked to some of the most unappealing statements.  When Republicans mention the word “deportation,” Democrats will remind Hispanics about Mitt Romney’s comments about “self-deportation,” which proved to be wildly unpopular with Hispanic voters.

4.      Focus on the Economy.  Republicans do a better job with Hispanics and most groups when they concentrate on the economy, instead of on divisive social issues.  Meet with Hispanic business leaders and entrepreneurs and let them know exactly how Republican economic policies can enhance their economic circumstances.

5.      Have Substantive Meetings with Hispanics.  Republicans need to travel across the country and meet with diverse groups of Hispanics, even those who have never voted for a Republican.  Seek advice from these diverse groups of Hispanics and adopt at least one idea you hear from many Hispanics that you don’t necessarily agree with.  Our representative democracy is heavily dependent on compromise.  In order to govern effectively, Republicans must present themselves as being equipped to govern.  If Hispanics don’t see the Republican Party as a party willing to compromise, then they will not vote for a party that’s so beholden to its positions that it’s willing to sacrifice effective governance for its stubbornness.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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