As Congress and the President begin considering immigration legislation this year, it’s important for Republicans to remember why they need to support this effort. President Obama beat Mitt Romney by more than a 3-1 margin among Latino voters in 2012, which spells demographic disaster for Republicans unless they reconsider their hardline stances on immigration and other Latino-vote priorities. Charlie Cook reminds Republicans what the numbers look like in today’s Cook Report:
Romney lost the election nationally by almost 4 points, and the GOP lost the overall popular vote for the House of Representatives. Although winning big among white voters and carrying the independent vote is necessary for GOP victories nationally, it’s no longer sufficient to win.
The white share of the vote in presidential elections has dropped 15 points over the past six elections, from 87 percent in 1992 to 72 percent in 2012. This trend has little to do with Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president. The declines from one presidential election to the next have been consistent: a 4-point drop from 1992 to 1996, 2 more points in 2000, 4 additional points in 2004, 3 points in 2008, and 2 points last year.
At the same time, the Republican share of the minority vote is getting grisly. Among the 13 percent of voters who are black, Obama won by 87 percentage points, 93 percent to 6 percent, while congressional Democrats won by 78 points, 91 percent to 13 percent. Latinos made up 10 percent of last year’s electorate and gave the president a 44-point edge, 71 percent to 27 percent, while congressional Democrats had a 38-point advantage, 68 percent to 30 percent. The Asian-American vote—3 percent of the electorate and now the fastest-growing ethnic group—sided with Obama by 47 points, 73 percent to 26 percent; congressional Democrats won by a 1-point-wider margin, 73 percent to 25 percent.
According to a Nov. 14 report by the Pew Research Hispanic Center, 40 percent of the population growth of citizens of voting age between now and 2030 will be Hispanic, 21 percent will be black, and 15 percent will be Asian-American. Only 23 percent of that growth will be white. Indeed 50,000 Latinos will turn 18 years of age each month for the next 20 years. The Census Bureau reported last year that 50.4 percent of all births in the U.S. in the 12 months ending July 1, 2011, were among minorities; 49.5 percent were among non-Hispanic whites.
This is simply math. As long as Republicans drive minority voters away, they will not be a nationally competitive party…
For Republicans who want their party to do more than simply hold a majority of the House—particularly those who hope to gain more than just one-third of the governing responsibility—the GOP needs to stop digging holes and start filling some in.
Immigration reform–with a path to citizenship–isn’t just a Latino vote priority either. Check out this brand-new poll from Hart Research Associates and Public Opinion Strategies about how 80% of respondents support common-sense immigration reform legislation that includes employer verification, continued border security, and the creation of a roadmap to citizenship.