José Niño argues that the GOP can continue to make inroads with Hispanics not by pandering but rather by pursuing a national-populist agenda.
In expected 13 percent of the electorate in the 2020 elections, American Hispanics are likely to play a crucial role in deciding contests in Arizona, Florida, and Texas. As the country’s Hispanic population grows larger, many wonder how Republicans can bring this demographic into their fold. Given that the Republican Party has dedicated a good portion of its resources to addressing this question, it’s impossible to say they’ve been ignoring Hispanics. But have they been effective?
A sober analysis of these outreach efforts shows that the GOP still has much work to do.
In 2016, President Trump received 29 percent of the Hispanic vote, which represented a two percentage point increase over Mitt Romney’s performance in 2012. Trump was able to receive an uptick in Hispanic votes despite running on a hawkish immigration platform that called for cracking down on illegal immigration and restricting legal immigration. The media was utterly convinced that Trump’s support among Hispanics would crater because of his positions on these issues, but it turns out that immigration wasn’t really a deal-breaker for Hispanic voters. Many Hispanics, in fact, share Trump’s views on the question.