Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What can Rubio deliver? (With update)

Penultimos Dias posts this New Yorker piece (pdf) in which Ken Auletta examines the recent spat between Senator Marco Rubio and Univision. It’s a long, detailed story about Rubio, the Republican party and Latino voters, and Univision’s dominant position in the U.S. Spanish-speaking audience. (Update: More on all this from CafĂ© Fuerte and the Columbia Journalism Review.) An interesting read, but more to the point of this blog, this caught my eye:

Republicans speak of Senator Rubio as a Vice-Presidential candidate in large part because they think he can help deliver Hispanic voters. But it’s not clear that he can. In the 2010 Senate election, he won fifty-five per cent of the Hispanic vote, but this was mostly because he won three-quarters of the Cuban vote. He won only about a third of the Puerto Rican vote and not much more of the remainder of the Hispanic vote. Jeb Bush, a Florida Republican with softer positions on immigration than Rubio—he has supported tuition breaks for the children of illegal immigrants, for example— won nearly two-thirds of the Hispanic vote in his last state-wide election, including fifty-five per cent of the Puerto Rican vote. In the December poll by impreMedia and Latino Decisions, only thirteen per cent of Hispanics said that Rubio’s inclusion on the national ticket would make them much more likely to vote Republican; ten per cent said it would make them much less likely.


Anonymous said...

Taking the most rabid hawkish positions on ALL US foreign policy matters, also won't help him with Hispanics.

In general, I suspect that most Hispanic voters do not favor strong US meddling in foreign affairs, particularly the way Rubio wants (neo-con*2).

I also suspect that US-born hispanics care greatly about domestic concerns and see Rubio's constant hyperbole/focus on US expansionism around the globe as a big waste of $ at best, and as chest-thumping/ethnocentrism at worst. Particularly, the way Rubio selectively handles Latin america, often treating it, rhetorically at least, as a region of satellite countries they must obey usa. (e.g. his harsh/insane rhetoric against Ecuador, where their president , like it or not, has higher approval ratings than any US president could dream of).

Somewhat differently, foreign-born US hispanics, I suspect, are also not attracted to Rubio's constant promotion of neo-con foreign policy. They also would be anathema to his immigration stance (and harsh rehetoric toward Latinos).

Jeb Bush probably got more Hispanics (than rubio) in part b/c they way he speaks. In my view, Bush is/was much more respectful to Hispanic experience than Rubio. Thus, overall, I don't see much appeal for him outside the cuban american community.

However, as VP candidate, Rubio will get tons of tea-party support and jazz up the base in much the same way as Palin. The foreign policy hawks , like Bill Kristol, will also LOVE rubio. They will be calling him the new Regan, on and on and on and on 24 hours per day at Fox. This is why they will be Rubio, that's my guess.

But, I am speculating here. We need attitudinal data to support/refute my earlier claims about hispanic attitudes.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Marco Rubio might get a hight % of the Cuban American vote in Florida and New Jersey and might help to get Florida's 29 electoral votes for the Republican ticket.

However, because of his stand on the immigration issue and his quarrel with Univision he will face a negative tv campaign and will not be backed by the rest of the latinos voters in the US.

You can expect that 13% of Latino voter support to go down and the 10% of voter opposition to go up.

So if he is chosen to get the Hispanic vote for the Republican ticket, I do not think that this expectation will pan out.

I also do not know how much support he can get from the Tea Party crowd.

With their anti immigrant bias I do not exactly expect them to be thrilled to vote for a candidate with a hispanic last name.

Many will mistrust his rethoric or regard him as a Hispanic turncoat, an opportunist who can not be trusted.

Between him and Jeb Bush I would venture to say that the latter would be a more acceptable candidate for conservative, fundamentalist anti immigrant Republicans.

Bush would have the same impact in Florida and would appeal to immigrants from Mexico and Central America all over the US because of his Hispanic wife and because tney remember his older brother's pro Latino immigrant stance.

Moreover, the Bush last name has an acceptable anglo and Republican pedigree and will not cause a fundamentalist Republican backlash.

The day for a Cuban on a presidential ticket will arrive when the Cuban candidate has a more centrist and pro immigration reform image.