NY GOP's Post-Election Memo: Hispanic Voters Exist
The New York State Republican Party put out its post-election memo over the weekend and -- after blaming President Obama for the ills of the world (and the NYS GOP) -- Chairman Ed Cox echoed what political experts have been saying since Tuesday (and we've been saying for the last five years): Republicans need to embrace Hispanic voters.
For the most part, the memo is NYS GOP Chairman Ed Cox's campaigning to keep his job -- we got a copy, and Cox points to"some" local victories, but blames failures in local races on the large number of voters who turned out for President Obama. He makes no mention, however, of the party's unpopular positions on many social issues -- like abortion, immigration, and gay marriage -- that often make Republicans look like hateful, bible-beating dopes (ref: Todd Akin).
"President Obama's vote share of 63% in New York was the 4th highest nationwide, behind the liberal small state triumvirate of Hawaii, Vermont and Rhode Island. But significantly, Obama's vote share in New York was greater than in any other large blue state, including Massachusetts (60%), California (59%), Connecticut (58%), New Jersey (58%) and Illinois (57%)," Cox says in the memo.
"President Obama's strong performance hurt our down-ballot candidates. Two of our incumbent Congresswomen were defeated, and two congressional challengers lost very close races."
But after laying out the blame, Cox explains how to move forward, which includes establishing better coalitions with minority groups -- specifically Hispanics.
"Our message can resonate in these communities," Cox says. "In 2004, George W. Bush won 45% of the Hispanic vote. In 2012, Mitt Romney won only 27%."
But Republicans blew their chances with Hispanics well before the 2012 election.
In 2001, the bi-partisan DREAM Act was introduced into Congress by senators Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch. If you're unfamiliar with the bill, it provided Hispanic kids a pathway to citizenship through education of military service. Basically, if you're a good kid who gives back to the community (read: the kinds of people we want to keep here), but you're an illegal immigrant -- in most cases by no fault of your own -- you can work your way to citizenship.
But right-wing border bullies blocked the bill -- and continued to block the bill for the next 10 years.
Hispanics are the largest emerging voting bloc in the entire country. So it only seems logical -- if for nothing other than self-preservation -- that a political party might want to embrace Latinos and go out of its way to reach a reasonable compromise to the broken immigration system.
The DREAM Act is about as reasonable a first step as it gets -- it's designed to give kids, who in many cases were brought to America when they were babies, a chance at citizenship. If nothing else, it's an incentive program to persuade immigrant kids to become successful. As it stands, an illegal immigrant can achieve a PhD, but still be forced to go back to a country they barely know. In other words, why bother working hard when at any point you can get booted across the border.
But Republicans pissed away their opportunity to win over Hispanics by repeatedly voting down the DREAM Act -- and now they're gonna have to pay for it with four more years of Obama.
Kudos to the GOP for finally recognizing that Hispanic voters exist -- it only took the crushing blow of Tuesday night. Unfortunately for the GOP, it might be too late.
See Cox's full memo below.
MEMO: Where We Are and Where We're Going
FROM: The New York Republican State Committee
DATE: November 9, 2012
While Tuesday's results were disappointing, New York Republicans did win some key
elections, including defeating an incumbent Democratic Congresswoman in western
New York and winning the Supervisor of Brookhaven in Suffolk County. We will continue
growing our party from the ground up in local elections in 2013 as we look forward
to a successful midterm election cycle in 2014.
Election Night 2012
New York is a deep blue state: President Obama's vote share of 63% in New York was
the 4th highest nationwide, behind the liberal small state triumvirate of Hawaii,
Vermont and Rhode Island. But significantly, Obama's vote share in New York was
greater than in any other large blue state, including Massachusetts (60%), California
(59%), Connecticut (58%), New Jersey (58%) and Illinois (57%),
President Obama's strong performance hurt our down-ballot candidates. Two of our
incumbent Congresswomen were defeated, and two congressional challengers lost very
But there was some good news out of our House races: five of our Republican incumbents,
Reps. Peter King, Michael Grimm, Chris Gibson, Richard Hanna and Tom Reed, are returning
to Congress. And Republican Chris Collins defeated a strong Democrat incumbent to
give us a congressional pickup.
Control of the New York State Senate will be decided over the coming weeks. We expect
to keep our majority and will continue to be a major fiscally responsible voice
in the governance of New York State. Once again, of the ten most Democratic states
in America, only one of their twenty state legislative houses is in Republican hands:
the New York State Senate. By contrast, California just elected a two-thirds Democratic
majority in both its houses, as California continues its profligate tax and spend
Before the 2010 elections, we held only two congressional seats and had no majority
in the state legislature. We now hold six congressional seats and potentially a
continuing majority in the State Senate, as well as significant additional local
2013 and Beyond
As we did after the 2008 elections, we will continue to build the party from the
As the Newsday headline read, "Obama wins nationally, Republicans win locally."
Among our many local victories, Republicans Debbie Preston, Sandy Schepp, Ed Romaine
and Stefan Mychajliw won highly competitive races for Broome County Executive, Onondaga
County Clerk, Brookhaven Town Supervisor and Erie County Comptroller, respectively.
Each of these victories occurred in counties carried by President Obama.
Even though 2013 will be considered an "off year" election by the pundits, a number
of important elections will be taking place in New York State, including the New
York City Mayoralty and County Executive races in key counties, including Rockland,
Westchester and Nassau.
We can then look forward to a great cycle in 2014, as the President's party historically
fairs poorly in the midterm elections of a second term.
Furthermore, Obama's slim win and, as even Bob Woodward recently noted, his weak
history of leadership in the context of our ongoing economic crisis, could set
up an extraordinary midterm election for the party not in the White House. And with
20 Democratic Senators up for reelection in 2014 compared to only 13 Republicans,
Republicans will be in an especially strong position to retake the United States
Working with National Leaders
The New York Republican State Committee has developed excellent working relationships
with all the national committees, their leaders and staff, including the RNC, Boehner
Trust, NRCC, NRSC, RGA and RSLC.
Over the last election cycle, Speaker Boehner came to New York seven times and campaigned
with Chairman Cox in nine congressional districts. The Speaker's office conceived,
and together with the State Party, financed and implemented our victory programs,
which provided the margin of victory in not only some of our congressional races,
but also in many of our down ballot races. Through our 13 Victory Centers that
reached every corner of the state, over 1,500 volunteers made 1.46 million phone
calls and knocked on over 84,000 doors. Nearly 6 million pieces of mail were distributed
in support of our Congressional candidates.
The State Party has established coalitions in a number of communities, including
the Hispanic, African-American, Asian, Indian and young professionals communities.
Under the purview of our Coalitions Director, these networks, in close consultation
with the State Party, direct outreach, communication, and organization of Republicans
within their respective communities on a statewide basis.
Our message can resonate in these communities: in 2004, George W. Bush won 45% of
the Hispanic vote. In 2012, Mitt Romney won only 27%.
As a national center for many ethnic groups, New York has been ahead of the game:
our networking and outreach success here can be a model for other Republican organizations
in the future.
While Tuesday's results were disappointing, New York Republicans can look forward
to successful election cycles in 2013 and 2014.
We will continue to grow the party by working with party leaders nationally and
expanding our network of coalitions here in New York.
The Republican Party in New York will continue to be a growing force for personal
and economic freedom, job growth, lower taxes, less spending, limited government,
local control and a strong national defense.
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