Hispanic Must Be On GOP Ticket, Sen. Marco Rubio Should Be VP Pick
All year-long I have predicted that Florida Senator Marco Rubio would be the Republican VP candidate. The reason for this goes back to the long-term argument that this blog has stated over and over–there is no national future for the GOP without massive Hispanic support. Given the wretched, and often racist tones and policy ideas that have been used by the GOP over the years I have argued a sea change was needed.
The GOP can not fail to notice the demographic trends.
Whites may currently be the majority but they are a declining demographic. The proportion of all voters who are white has already declined to 75% today from 94% in 1960. By 2050, whites are no longer expected to be a majority of the U.S. population
White male America is turning brown, and the conservatives have two choices. They can either adapt, or truly become even more of a political dinosaur.
In November 2010 I wrote the following.
I have argued over and over that the strident meanness over immigration that seems to fester deep within much of the Republican Party would hurt their long-term chances as a political powerhouse. After all, the demographics in the nation are changing. America is becoming brown. That makes our country stronger. Diversity has always enhanced our national story.
This is why the all-white Tea Party, and the unconstitutional Arizona immigration law baffles me. Short-sighted hate on the front side, and long-term political damage on the end side makes no sense for the Republican Party. When will the mature faces of the GOP pull the party away from the brink?
For all of Mitt Romney’s faults, I think he does understand the need to reach out and broaden the party to make sure the old discomforts with ‘the brown people’ is removed so the party can be salvaged. I do find it ironic and comical that conservatives will have to bite their tongue and allow a Hispanic to help save what they themselves can not.
Now comes a strong editorial in the National Weekly Standard that continues the themes that I have pumped here for years.
On April 15, Romney attended a private fundraiser in the backyard of a large home in Palm Beach, Florida. His remarks, not intended for public consumption, were nonetheless overheard by reporters traveling with him. And they were blunt. “We have to get Hispanics to vote for our party,” he said. Romney pointed to polls showing him trailing badly among Hispanic voters and said that if those numbers don’t change, “it spells doom for us.”
Those numbers haven’t changed. An NBC/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll released in late July shows Obama with a 67-23 percent advantage over Romney among Hispanics. Last week, a Latino Decisions poll had Obama leading Romney 63-27 percent among Hispanics in five swing states with significant Hispanic populations—Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia.
That’s worrisome. But the core of the problem is Florida—a must-win state for Romney. According to Latino Decisions, Romney trails Obama among Latino Floridians 53-37. (Even more, among voters who say they’re “certain” to vote for their candidate, Obama leads 49-29.) This kind of margin might well doom Romney.
In 2010, by contrast, Marco Rubio won 55 percent of Florida Hispanics. Rick Scott, who was probably helped by having Rubio running with him, won 50 percent of the state’s Hispanic voters in his successful bid to become governor. Even in 2008, while losing Florida 51-48, John McCain won 42 percent of the Hispanic vote. In 2004, George W. Bush defeated John Kerry among Hispanics in Florida by 56-44 percent. (Those numbers were no doubt inflated because Bush’s brother Jeb was the popular governor at the time.)
The bottom line: Mitt Romney almost certainly will not win Florida if he wins just 37 percent of the Hispanic vote there. And Mitt Romney almost certainly will not be president if he doesn’t win Florida.
What to do? The Latino Decisions poll offers one possible answer: Pick Marco Rubio as your running mate. Some 31 percent of Florida Hispanics say they are more likely to vote for Romney if Rubio is on the ticket (47 percent say it would make no difference, and just 17 percent say it would make them less likely).
Rubio’s appeal goes well beyond Hispanics and well beyond Florida, of course. At a recent appearance in Nevada on behalf of Romney, Rubio drew nearly 1,000 voters to his former elementary school, with lines out the door. His autobiography, An American Son, spent several weeks near the top of the New York Times bestseller list. A recent survey of Illinois delegates to the Republican convention found that nearly half of them want Romney to pick Rubio.