When it comes to polling anyone, it’s all in the question. Republican pollsters ask questions one way, Democratic pollsters ask another way, usually. Well, Latino Decisions’ recent poll on Latino support for Rubio, Bush, and Paul Ryan is quite disingenuous.
While the 2016 presidential election is a full three years away many of the high profile Republican contenders are enmeshed in the immigration reform debate, and if Republicans demonstrate strong leadership on passing comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship possible candidates such as Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan could get strong support from Latino voters. However if Rubio, Bush or Ryan distance themselves from the immigration bill and House Republicans defeat the measure none of the GOP candidates stands to improve on the historic Romney 2012 defeat among Latinos. [Full poll results here]
Latino Decisions and others have done other polling in the recent past about how Latinos feel about various issues, and when it comes right down to it, Latinos fall in line with Democratic Party-promoted policies on education, health care, and jobs/economy. So, why weren’t these polled voters reminded of the Rubio, Bush, and especially Ryan positions on those policies. Ryan (and Romney) was defeated in 2012 because of those positions.
It is obvious to me that the poll was created to put a scare into Republicans, but assuming that Latinos are solely single issue voters taints the poll. We are not.
On top of that, the current Latino political conversation has included the addition of the “border surge” to the bill which Rubio very loudly insisted be included or he would not play the game anymore. I won’t even go into Bush’s “fertile” remark. And, Ryan, well, he still wants to cut off our viejitos and viejitas from Social Security.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a fan of Latino Decisions. Recently, they even wrote up a defense of the Voting Rights Act backed up by science and numbers. So, I know they are capable of good work. But this last poll goes against what we should be doing–educating and empowering Latino voters with facts. And especially about candidates.
Besides, we are seeing everyday that the GOP is not going to budge on immigration reform, and moreover, that the GOP has all but given up on the Latino vote. At least, that’s how it looks today.