Earlier this week, we posted on the new report from America’s Voice that examines (and demolishes) the claim that Republicans can maintain a hard line on immigration reform and still court the Latino vote simply by running Latino candidates.
This has been a key theme espoused by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the architect of the failed GOP immigration strategy to date. According to Smith:
“the 2010 election actually paints a very bright picture of the Republican Party’s relations with this country’s growing Hispanic population.”
We’ve urged caution before if the GOP keeps relying on Smith as its leading Latino vote pundit. Here’s why: based on the best data available, it’s pretty clear that the picture isn’t so “bright” after all.
One prominent example is Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval.
In the report, figures show that while Sandoval beat Clark County commissioner Rory Reid overall, getting 53.4% of the vote to Reid’s 41.6%, Latino voters overwhelmingly preferred Reid: Latino Decisions’ election eve poll showed that 84% of voters chose Reid, while only 15% voted for Sandoval. With Latinos representing at least 12% of midterm voters, Latino Decisions estimated that the overall impact of the Latino vote contributed 8.5 percentage points to Reid.
84% – 15% sure isn’t a very “bright” picture from Nevada.