Tags: GOP2016 | Jeb Bush | Mike Huckabee | Newt Gingrich | Rick Perry | Hispanic envangelicals | underappreciated demographic

GOP Hopefuls Court Hispanic Evangelicals

By    |   Friday, 08 May 2015 03:42 PM

The growth of born-again Protestant Hispanic congregations offers an opportunity for political support that Republican presidential hopefuls should embrace, The Wall Street Journal reports.

It described these evangelical Hispanics as an "under-appreciated demographic" and one where political outreach could be successful around the country.

The Journal noted that Pew's Forum on Religion and Public Life determined that at least 16 percent of American Hispanics call themselves evangelicals, and that number is on the rise.

Candidates will have to tread thoughtfully on how they discuss immigration, learning from past mistakes that may have cost previous presidential candidates with Hispanic voters.

"Republican presidential candidates may face the temptation that several faced in past primary cycles, of proving their conservative bona fides by taking the shrillest possible view of immigrants. After all, some might reason, past presidential aspirants Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich, were savaged by opponents simply for suggesting that we ought to have a heart regarding children brought to this country by their parents," the Journal wrote.

"Some will remember this and think that harsh talk about immigrants is necessary. To do so would be a mistake, both morally and strategically. And an immigrant-bashing candidate may find that he is alienating not only people in the boardrooms but also people in the pews," the Journal said.

Republican candidate Jeb Bush is already courting Hispanics in his birth state of Texas, where much of his famed family has lived. Bush, whose wife was born in Mexico and who resides in Hispanic-friendly Miami, lauded their contributions in late April at a National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in Houston, noting that "this is not the time to abandon something that makes us special and unique."

Hispanic evangelical leaders said prospective candidates should do more to earn their votes, ThinkProgress.org noted.

"Republicans must cross the Jordan of immigration reform to step into the promised land of the Hispanic faith electorate," said Sam Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, ThinkProgress.org reported.

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The growth of born-again Protestant Hispanic congregations offers an opportunity for political support that GOP presidential hopefuls should embrace, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Hispanic envangelicals, underappreciated demographic
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2015-42-08
Friday, 08 May 2015 03:42 PM
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