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A GOP In Desperate Need of More Voters Cannot Afford to Stand Against Citizenship

by Van Le on 02/22/2013 at 4:07pm

Whatever Republicans think they’re doing to start to win back that 75% of the Latino vote they lost in the last election, it’s not working.  While many in the GOP have moved toward more mainstream policies on immigration and have been willing to come to the table, others have opposed immigration reform that creates a path to citizenship (a no-go position that even Marco Rubio has jettisoned).

Anti-reform Republicans should take a look at the new Pew Research Center/USA Today survey–and reconsider their positions.  The survey finds greater support for Obama’s positions on a variety of topics (including immigration reform) than for the positions of Congressional Republicans.  The survey also shows that seven out of ten Hispanics approve of the president’s job performance overall, and six out of ten Hispanics approve of his approach to immigration.

Earth to the GOP: those are the voters you’re supposed to be courting.  As today’s blog from Sean Sullivan at the Fix notes, it wasn’t that long ago that Obama was polling pretty poorly among Hispanics.  A low was hit in November 2011, when just 28% of Hispanics approved of Obama’s approach to deportations.  Since then, Obama announced his deferred action for DREAMers (DACA) program–which greatly contributed to his winning the election in November–and is now leaning heavily into the immigration issue in his second term.  That helps explain why his support among Latinos re: immigration is now at 63%.  Check out these charts from The Fix tracking his approval ratings:

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And yet instead of making a play for some of these voters, Republicans like Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) seem content to throw this potential support away.  Goodlatte this week appeared to suggest that he wanted to move on immigration reform without a path to citizenship–in effect creating a permanent underclass of Americans who will never hold full stakes in the country they call home.  It would be a disaster for the US, and a disaster for a Republican Party already faced with political irrelevance.

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