When President Bush won re-election with 49 percent of the Texas Hispanic vote in 2004, he set a "relatively high bar" for the four Republicans with Texas ties who may run for president next year, according to the liberal-leaning Texas Tribune.
The Tribune's Alexis Ura wrote in a Washington Post op-ed
that GOP presidential aspirants with Texas ties "must figure out how to hold the GOP base and attract conservative Hispanics if they want to be successful in Texas."
While Hispanics made up 10 percent of the national electorate in the 2012 presidential election, they comprise nearly one-third of the electorate in Texas.
With that in mind, Ura examined how four potential Republican candidates with Texas ties —
former Gov. Rick Perry; Sen. Ted Cruz; Jeb Bush; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, son of former Texas congressman Ron Paul —
Bush grew up in Midland, Texas, spent much of his childhood in Houston, and is regarded as "friendly to Hispanics," having called on Congress to approve "comprehensive immigration reform" and urged Republicans to emphasize the issue in outreach to Hispanics.
As Texas' longest serving governor, Perry has "long courted Texas Hispanics" and seen his support from them dramatically increase. While in his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Perry won just 13 percent of the Hispanic vote, he nearly tripled his percentage by 2010, winning 38 percent in his final governor's race. He presided over Texas' economic boom during the past decade and enhanced his standing with this constituency by supporting passage of the Texas Dream Act —
the state's law providing in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.
Paul grew up in Lake Jackson, Texas, and has spent recent months preaching "a message of Hispanic inclusion within the Republican ranks," declaring that the GOP must get "beyond deportation" with regard to the immigration issue," Ura wrote.
His views make him "someone to watch in the upcoming election when it comes to appealing to Texas Hispanics."
The only one of the four Republicans with Texas ties to get a decidedly negative review from the Texas Tribune reporter was Cruz. The senator will have problems getting support from Hispanics, she wrote, because of his "divisive tone" (e.g., his opposition) to amnesty legislation and Obamacare.
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