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At America’s Voice, we’ve been saying for a long time that Republicans will have a hard time garnering the support of the fastest growing voting demographic, Latinos, because of the party’s hard-core anti-immigrant positions. Undaunted by the findings of poll after poll that show immigration is a core issue for that voting bloc, Republican leaders have turned over their immigration agenda to three members of the House: Lamar Smith (TX), Elton Gallegly (CA) and Steve King (IA), who are all promoting a mass-deportation strategy.
Last week, with the release of the new census numbers, DC’s political pundits took notice of the growing Latino population and realized that — because of immigration — the Republican Party has a major problem on its hands. Today, at his Washington Post’s blog, “The Fix.” Chris Cillizza headlined its post on the subject, “The Republicans’ Hispanic Problem,” noting:
The numbers are eye-opening. Hispanics now account for more than 16 percent of the total population, making them the largest minority group in the country. More than half of all population growth in the United States over the past decade came from Hispanics. Perhaps most amazing is that nearly a quarter — 23 percent — of all children age 17 or younger are Latino.
That’s a major problem for Republicans, given that in the 2008 presidential election, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) — far from the GOP’s most ardent advocate of stricter immigration laws — won just 31 percent of the Hispanic vote, according to exit polls.
And if looking back is worrisome for GOP strategists, looking forward is downright frightening.