Can Rubio Republicans Save the GOP?

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Latino voters dashed Republican hopes for a full takeover of Congress last week by swinging for Democratic senators in Nevada, California, and other key states. But the Wall Street Journal‘s John Fund thinks that there’s still hope for the Republican Party to win back Latinos, pointing out that there will be a record number of Hispanic Republicans in the next Congress:

Two are from Texas and defeated Democratic incumbents – Bill Flores of Bryan and Quico Conseco from San Antonio. Jaime Herrera was elected to an open seat in Washington state. Raul Labrador defeated a Democratic incumbent in Idaho. David Rivera won an open House seat in Florida, just as Marco Rubio won that state’s vacant U.S. Senate seat. In addition, Republicans elected two Hispanic governors — prosecutor Susan Martinez in New Mexico and Brian Sandoval, a judge, in Nevada.

In fact, the national GOP made a concerted effort to diversify its ranks and recruit minority candidates who were still hardline conservatives. Some of the Latino Republicans who won—including Martinez, Sandoval, and Rubio—ran openly as immigration hawks, managing to win Hispanic votes even as they voiced vocal support for the Arizona law and tougher border security. Fund adds that Texas Gov. Rick Perry managed to win 38 percent of the Latino vote this year even as he hewed to a similar line, while Rubio netted 40 percent of the non-Cuban Hispanic vote. Meanwhile, more moderate types like Labrador—a former immigration attorney—could help the GOP’s Latino outreach.

But though the next Congress will bring greater diversity to the GOP’s ranks, there’s little sign that the party will stem its divisive, inflammatory attacks on immigrants and immigration. Incoming House leaders Steve King and Lamar Smith have put an immigration crackdown at the top of their agenda for the House Judiciary Committee, as I explain in my latest story. King is especially infamous for using noxious rhetoric to describe immigrants and will have a bigger bully pulpit than ever in the next Congress. If John Boehner lets them have their way, the Republican Party may only continue to alienate the Hispanic voters—unless, perhaps, some of its newly anointed Hispanic lawmakers decide to stand up their own party.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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