Latinos have more than tripled their share of the national electorate over the past 25 years—and they’re increasingly voting Democratic.
In this week’s election, Latino voters cared as much about the economy and education as all other groups—but the GOP’s stance on immigration alienated many of them.
So some Republicans say now is a good time to start shifting the party’s message.
Mark Shurtleff, Utah’s Republican attorney general, believes it's important to convince Republican members of Congress "that you don’t have to have policies of self-deportation, enforcement-only, 'run them out,' that you can actually move to comprehensive, fair, just, immigration reform.”
For their part, Latino groups are seeing the results of the election as an opportunity to reach out to the GOP.
“All the talk right now is about how the two parties need to speak to Latinos in order to achieve anything in this country," says Lizette Escobedo, head of community relations for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. "So this is really an opportunity for the Republican Party to step up and to begin having a dialogue with our community, and to begin to understand who our community is.”
Escobedo says Republicans need to understand that religion and family values are only part of what Latinos consider when they enter the polling booth.