By Raoul Lowery Contreras (reposted from Cafe Con Leche Republicans)
One of the most important questions running through Mitt Romney’s mind while considering whom to choose for his Vice-Presidential nomination is – can U.S. Senator Marco Rubio bring in Florida with its 29 electoral votes and can he help keep President Obama’s Hispanic margin down?
Liberal Democrat Hispanics and their polling colleagues at Latino Decisions say Rubio doesn’t help Romney among Hispanic registered voters, but there is a better answer to that question. It was provided by Hispanic Republicans in Texas on run-off day, Tuesday the 30th.
Not only did Ted Cruz receive a mountain of votes in his 56.8% to 43.2% defeat of the Texas’ Lt. Governor but he received a mountain of Hispanic Republican votes as well.
A study of each Texas county on the border with Mexico demonstrates that a Cuban-American can receive Mexican American votes. Examples: Cameron County with 87% Mexican Americans produced a 62.6% victory for Cruz; Zapata County with 92% Mexican Americans voted 75% for Cruz. Webb County with 95% Mexican Americans produced a 55.7% Cruz victory. The largest border county is El Paso with 82% of its people Mexican American, produced a 73.3% Cruz victory; Val Verde County is the only border county to have voted for Cruz’ opponent.
The question, then, of whether or not Senator Marco Rubio can help Romney with Hispanic votes has been answered. Rubio is far more attractive than Ted Cruz, in my opinion, yet Cruz romped with Texas Hispanics when they chose between his new face and an old one who spent millions of his own dollars and outspent Cruz 3 to 1.
The Rubio-can-help theory has much more import today than it did the Monday before the Texas run-off for reasons that cause a lifelong Hispanic Republican like me to cackle. Even as Democrats play catch-up by naming San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as their keynote speaker 26 years after the Republican Party pioneered Hispanic outreach by having United States Treasurer Katherine Ortega deliver the ’84 Keynote speech, Democrats have a long way to go.
Chris Cilliza of the Washington Post writes:
“Cruz, a Cuban-American, joins Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Govs. Bobby Jindal (La.), Susana Martinez (N.M.), Nikki Haley (S.C.) and Brian Sandoval (Nev.)… as non-white Republicans — Cruz, Rubio, Sandoval and Martinez are Hispanic, Jindal and Haley are Indian-American… — that are nearly certain to run for national office, serve on a national ticket or be mentioned for a national ticket at some point in the not-too-distant future.”
“For a party that has struggled in recent years to escape the caricature that it is dominated by old, white men, the spate of minority faces rising to statewide office is a welcome development,” Cilliza writes.
“To be clear, a handful of Hispanic, Indian-American… elected officials with star potential does not mean that the Republican Party is changing top to bottom…”
If these words were written by a life-long Republican their meaning and potential impact would be minimal. Coming from a highly-placed Washington Post politics writer, they are gold-plated for independents and people that pay attention to politics from high above everyday run-of-the-mill inside newspaper stories.
Four heavyweight Hispanic governors and Senators compared to no Democrat Hispanic governors and one Senator equals a four-to-one image that cannot be matched in any way by Democrats. Add in Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley, Indian-Americans and the GOP stomps Harry Reid and his gang of wimps. The GOP pioneered election victories by Arab Americans for Governor of New Hampshire and Oregon and who can miss Lebanese American Darrell Issa in the House of Representatives?
Combining the view that the GOP is making huge strides with “minority” governors and senators nationally, we now see that Mexican Americans (63% of all Hispanics) will, in fact, vote for a Cuban American.
That plows under the canard that Mexicans won’t vote for a Romney-Rubio ticket this November.
In the long term, these words from the Washington Post’s Chris Cilliza have great import:
“Given how badly the party has struggled among non-white voters, however, the crop of minority candidates with a legitimate case to make it on the national stage (at some point) is a stunning development and can, if the GOP plays it right, help it change the face — figuratively and literally — of the GOP.”
Will the GOP “play it right?” It will if I have anything to do with it along with, of course, soon-to-be U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and Governors Susana Martinez (NM) and Brian Sandoval (NV). And, let us not forget the seven Hispanic congress people in the House of Representatives.
Editors note: As with all postings on this blog which appear with a byline, the posting represents the author’s opinion and not the official position of Cafe Con Leche Republicans.
Raoul Lowery Contreras (1941) was born in Mexico, raised in the USA. Former U.S. Marine, athlete, Dean’s List at San Diego State. Professional political consultant and California Republican Party official(1963-65)…Television news commentator, radio talk show host…published Op-Ed writer (1988 to present)…author of 12 books (as of 1-05-12). His books are available on Amazon.com.