There have been many interesting takes this week on Tuesday night’s debacle and how to prevent it from happening again in 2012. While there is much to be said for organizing RTC’s and focusing on GOTV,that only gets you so far.In short, as 11% of the electorate,we can organize and coordinate with a precision that would put the Michigan State Spartan marching band to shame and we will still lose in near landslides. I believe it was SSR that brought up the demographic hurdle Republicans face in statewide elections. He broke the Democrats’ base into three groups:
2) Public/Private Sector Unions
If we hope to start winning elections outside of Worcester County we need to cut into the Dems base in addition to appealing to independents. Of the three legs of the Democrats’ stool the only one we have a remote chance with is minority voters, particularly hispanics. Let’s face it, most voters’ make their decision based on who will best protect their interests. A Republican party that is committed to limiting the size and scope of government and promotes individual opportunity will never appeal to progressives or union voters. Why do I think that message has a small shot of winning over hispanic voters? Because Puerto Rico has a Republican governor that is advocating those positions.
From the WSJ:
Move over, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. You’ve got a tax-cutting, pro-growth competitor who may be even bolder than you. His name is Luis Fortuño and he is the governor of Puerto Rico, a place that, if you can believe it, is in worse fiscal shape than the Garden State.
When Mr. Fortuño took office in January 2009, Puerto Rico had a 46% budget shortfall equal to $3.3 billion. Things were so bad, he told me in a telephone interview from San Juan on Tuesday, that he had to fly to New York while still governor-elect to explain his fiscal plan to the investment community in order to avoid a sharp downgrade of Puerto Rican debt. “We were one step from junk status,” he says.
The governor says he cut 20% of the budget but “it was not enough.” Puerto Rico needs “to provide an environment for our people to flourish and to let their ingenuity take them where they want to go.” He adds: “Puerto Rico has not been competitive. Investors have been going to Singapore and Ireland. Our system was failing us.” And it wasn’t for lack of capital. Commonwealth debt offerings, he says, always sell out quickly. “There is plenty of money here but it has not been worthwhile taking risk” in private-sector ventures.
I’m not saying Republicans should suddenly become pro-amnesty and attempt to out-pander the Democrats for Hispanic votes. Just the opposite. Senator-elect Marco Rubio (R-Fl) refused to play the pander game to the point that Charlie Crist accused him(a son of Cuban immigrants) of not “being hispanic enough”. Republicans need to go into their communities and start asking hispanics for their votes instead of just assuming that because they tend to be Catholic that they’ll magically start voting R because of social issues. And we need to get started on reaching out yesterday.
On NRO Jim Geraghty’s political sage discusses the Republican’s problem relating to hispanics leading to the wipeout in California:
Jim: You mentioned California. Is that state gone for Republicans for the foreseeable future?
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Michael Medved said yesterday that Fiorina won the white vote by 9 percent, which is 61 percent of the total vote. But she did abysmally among Hispanics, getting only 28 percent. If she merely got to 40 percent, she wins.
Hispanic voters for a lot of reasons are nascent Republicans. But there are perception problems that need to be broken through. Those problems are not solved by doing what the consultants recommend – talking only about the economy while dancing around other issues. Our candidates need to be talking about ideas and discussing the difference between conservative and liberal philosophies. The question is one of educating voters about what those philosophies mean to them.
As much as I admire Gov. Christie, the MassGOP should try inviting Gov. Fortuno to the Commonwealth to campaign for our candidates next time. It’s not like we have anything to lose.