Tags: GOP2016 | Immigration | Jeb Bush | Marco Rubio | Ted Cruz | hispanics | vote

Key Hispanic Vote Advances Bush, Rubio in GOP: Politico

By    |   Thursday, 30 April 2015 08:11 AM

Republican opposition to transforming the status of some 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. makes it problematic for the party to gain traction among Americans of Hispanic heritage, according to Politico.

There are about 54 million Hispanics in the U.S., representing about 17 percent of the population. They are a heterogeneous group, which includes Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Salvadorians and Dominicans.

Presidential hopefuls Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have strong ties to elements within the community and may be the party's "best" hope, says one pro-immigration reform expert.

Ted Cruz, though of Cuban descent, is unwaveringly against immigration reform and so less likely to win Latino backing, according to Politico.

Bush, a former Florida governor, is a fluent Spanish speaker with cultural, political and personal ties to the Hispanic community. His wife was born in Mexico, and his children are also bilingual.

Florida Sen. Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants, and Cubans are a powerful voting bloc in that important electoral state.

Hispanics tend to be supportive of key Obama administration initiatives that are opposed by the Republicans, including the Affordable Care Act and diplomatic relations with Cuba. In contrast to the GOP, Hispanics are also basically favorably disposed toward a large role for government, according to Politico.

Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, garnered 27 percent of the Hispanic vote.

Rubio adviser Whit Ayres, author of "2016 and Beyond: How Republicans Can Elect a President in the New America," has argued that, "The idea that Republicans can rip into illegal immigrants without antagonizing Hispanic voters is delusional," according to Politico.

Bush and Rubio have been trying to calibrate immigration stances that appear sufficiently harsh to attract conservative primary voters, while sounding sympathetic enough to draw Hispanics and moderates in November, Politico reported.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who started out supporting a path to citizenship, now wants illegals "to go back to their country of origin and get in line behind everybody else who's waiting," according to Politico.

Bush said he would reverse President Barack Obama's recent orders to protect illegal immigrants from deportation. Rubio said that Obama's orders can't be the basis for immigration policy in the long run, according to Politico.

"Bush and Rubio are the best" Republicans can offer Hispanics, and it would be "almost inconceivable that one of them won't be on the ticket," said Simon Rosenberg of the left-leaning NDN think tank.

"You have to bring down the barrier somehow. The most obvious way to do that is through some personal connection. Both Bush and Rubio have that in equal measure," Rosenberg told Politico.

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Republican opposition to transforming the status of some 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. makes it problematic for the party to gain traction among Americans of Hispanic heritage, according to Politico.
hispanics, vote, jeb bush, marco rubio, immigration, 2016
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2015-11-30
Thursday, 30 April 2015 08:11 AM
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