By Javier Manjarres
Unfortunately for the Republican Party, the writing is clearly on the wall- its lack of a multifaceted, coordinated strategy that aggressively courts Hispanic swing voters will wind up costing the party votes. The blame for this lack of effort should be put squarely on the party itself, as it seems to have resigned itself to the status quo with regards to refining its efforts to woo Hispanics. While current Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus has to take responsibility for the lack of outreach efforts to Latinos since he was elected Chairman, this lack of effort is not all his fault- not by a long shot.
The problem with the Republican establishment’s lack of outreach to court Hispanics is really not all that complicated- as we have been saying all along, the GOP must first understand who Hispanics are- it is just that simple. We are tired of hearing the same old establishment talking points on how to reach out to Hispanics. Where is the real message? Which Hispanic leader is going to step up and speak the truth to Hispanics and appeal to their instinctive conservative beliefs and values?
Chairman Preibus says that “we are in a much better position today in 2012, than what we were in 2008.” Perhaps this is true, but what have you done lately? 2012 arguably is the most pivotal election in this country’s history. Priebus accurately states that “we have done a terrible job talking about it,” that being Hispanic outreach, considering the fact that we have Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, Brian Sandoval and Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno that Priebus lists as possible ‘pied pipers’ for the Hispanic cause.
Chairman Priebus lists the things that the RNC is doing to be able to compete and court Hispanic voters but fails to address the real question- what is the message?
The RNC can have as many Hispanic political directors and field staffers as they want, but if they do not have an aggressive and accurate campaign of messaging what Hispanics believe in, then all of that time and money used for Hispanic outreach is wasted effort.
Priebus is right in saying that the GOP has great Hispanic communicators that could stand up and grab hold of the proverbial “mantel”, but who is it going to be? Will it be Senator Marco Rubio who is currently busy promoting his new book, who will step up his efforts towards Hispanic voters and affirmatively change their prevailing impression towards Republicans?
Republicans need to make inroads with Hispanic voters- now- otherwise, the party could face a substantial loss with Hispanics to Obama that could be too much to overcome. The GOP needs to quickly stop the bleeding and find a damage-mitigating message that will resonate among enough Hispanics approach to the 44% support that George W. Bush reached back in 2004.
After 2012, one can only speculate as to what kind of messaging and how sustained the outreach the GOP will finally engage in to reach out to Hispanics. The unfortunate problem for the GOP is that the answer is right in front of their eyes, but they are just too blind to see it.
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