People make a big deal about the cultural and political differences between California and Texas, and yet do nothing. These differences may erode as soon as Latinos become the majority of voters in both states, and they may become center-right. Texas Republicans need Latinos in order to keep control, while in California they need Latinos to retake and revive the Party.
This weekend the California Republican Party hosted their Spring Convention. In Texas, Republicans have the supermajority (1 senator short of a real supermajority), but in California this is the opposite; the Democrats have supermajority or more than the 60% in both houses.
In California the Republican Latino vote in the state fluctuates between 25 to 35 percent Republican. Which is why it is crucial for the Republican Party to woo Latino voters in order to regain power. Karl Rove has always maintained that the future of the Republican in the southwest region lies in the ability of the GOP to lure Latinos. And he reiterated while addressing the Republican Convention in California.
He also stated that the party must recruit candidates who reflect the diversity of the country, and in particular, California. By next year, Latinos will overtake whites as the state’s largest demographic group. “We need to be asking for votes in the most powerful way possible, which is to have people asking for the vote who are comfortable and look like and sound like the people that we’re asking for the vote from,” Rove said.
He actually told attendees (mainly Party Delegates) to get off their assess to get the Latino vote.
And Rove is not alone in voicing this fact. Former state Lt. Governor and Congressional Candidate Abel Maldonado gave a very inspirational during the gathering with GROW ELECT. Maldonado was very passionate about why the state Republican Party needs to elect “people that look like you, talk like you and sound like you” (Latinos that is). He added, that the Republican party needs to focus on education, family values, and opportunity. On immigration, he proudly told the story of how his father crossed the border in search of a better life, and it was this desire to become a better person that made his father successful as a farmer in California. Therefore, the Republican Party needs to talk to Latinos with respect– he is like Marco Rubio who talks proudly about his Cubans parents. Maldonado, even warned those seeking to run for office that if the consultant tells you not to go to the Latino community because “they” don’t vote or they may vote Democrat, don’t listen to them. Candidates should go to that district and talk to all voters with respect, said Maldonado.
Maldonado is an inspirational figure—you can see the passion in his eyes– who connects with young people and businesses alike, and he is not afraid to talk about his family experience. More importantly, he wants to inspire a new generations of Latino Republicans to focus on education policies because he sees an erosion in the opportunity in this nation for young people. He also wants a the new generation of smart conservative Latino in the state and the nation that both Parties cannot take just take for granted; which are similar views of most Latino Republicans in Texas and New Mexico.
Republican State Senator from San Diego, Rocky Chavez also told the audience very clearly that the Republican is the Party of family values and keeping families together. Thus, it should refrain from making insensitive remarks about immigration. As Chavez said, People used to cross the ocean the same way that they now cross the border in the Southwest.
To achieve this, Ruben Barrales, President of GROW ELECT and former Bush Aide, says that we need to grow a new leadership in the Republican party from the Community because 80% of the time voter elect candidate who looks or sound like them, Latinos that is. Barrales believes his new goal is not to reach out to Latino communities, as outreach implies an external force coming in to area. Rather, we need grow the Candidate from the community who reflects the image and the values of the community. Hence, the name GROW ELECT.
This sounds like an organic grassroots formula that seeks to elect conservative Latino candidates by Latino voters who will see themselves in the candidates and as members of the community. Moreover, the numbers do not lie and Voters want a new Republican party in California . For example, I looked for the Numbers (see graph) for voter Registration and I put them in table :
California voters are becoming more independent and less Republicans. Also, California has the largest voter registration in the nation, but Latinos are not really flocking to the Democrat Party, as some may suggest, but rather they regularizing as Independents. Thus. GROW ELECT and Maldonado understand that they want Latino independents to become center right on education, family, immigration, and small businesses that create opportunity for future generation of Latinos
And these are the same issues that that Latino Republicans in Texas speak openly about, as well Susana Martinez also is one of top promoters of education in the US. Gov. Martinez has told the GOP that voter in New Mexico want vote for people that look like them—that is Latino. So there are overlapping issues that all Latinos want to promote throughout the Southwest since Latino are still a very young bloc of voters. So these issues are it is generational issue for Mexican-American in the southwest where about 50 percent of K- 12 students are Latinos. Issues that maybe Anglos who still control the Party machinery and funding in California and Texas do not want to avoid.
For people in Texas, this may sound too much California organic formula. But Texas is not far from reaching those dismal numbers from California on the Latino vote because there are no outreach programs being implemented by the GOP. Moreover, in 2010 38% Latino voted Republican for Rick Perry over Bill White. However, for the past two years, the gap between The GOP and Latinos has increased over the misconception over the Voter ID, Sanctuary City bills (immigration), and redistricting. Nobody knows how Latinos voted in Texas in 2012 yet because there were no exit polls conducted after the elections. However, Republicans in the state must be prepared when the US census releases this data in the summer because as it appears, Latinos are not just going to vote the Republican party in Texas as they have done in the past.
Perhaps, in Texas we will have to GROW our own leaders too who want to be from the community and by the community.Alex Gonzalez is a political Analyst and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote! He received a Bachelors Degree and a Masters’ Degree, with emphasis in American politics, from San Francisco State University. comments to firstname.lastname@example.org