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Thread: RISKY BUSNIESS

  1. #1
    COOK REPORT: Risky Business
    OFF TO THE RACES Charlie Cook June 20, 2006
    "We can't survive as a party without getting more of the Hispanic vote." -- Matthew Dowd, Chicago Tribune, January 27, 2002
    "...the fact (is) that the Latino vote in this country is the fastest -- growing demographic of the electorate -- it's grown 400 percent in the last 20 years. So this is going to keep happening." It's dynamic, it's growing. And I think both political parties understand that it's a demographic that is probably one of the most important -- you know, who's going to have majority status in this country." -- Dowd, Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2006
    There is no getting around the fact that Matthew Dowd is a pretty smart fellow.
    Having played key strategic roles in the campaigns to both elect and re-elect President Bush, Dowd, now a partner in the ViaNovo international public affairs and strategy firm, has studied every aspect of the body politic. A Google search of his name and the word "Hispanic" gets you a tutorial on the importance of the Hispanic vote to the future of the Republican Party.
    In 1998 I stopped by then-Gov. George W. Bush's re-election campaign headquarters in Austin, and I realized that these folks were seeing the Hispanic vote in a different way than previous generations of Republicans. Communications Director Karen Hughes proudly played the campaign ads for me and showed me the collateral materials aimed at the Latino vote, saying that it was the first major campaign in Texas to run a parallel campaign for the Hispanic vote. I had heard Republicans express hopes for years that they were going to go after the Hispanic vote, but this was the first time that they seemed really serious about it.
    Within months of Bush moving into the White House, Dowd and other top Bush advisers set about to win over the rest of the GOP to the cause of attracting the Hispanic vote. After Bush lost the 2000 popular vote to Al Gore, Dowd was quoted in the Washington Post on July 8, 2001, saying, "Republicans have to increase their percentage among blacks and certainly among Hispanics."
    He went on to say that, "As a realistic goal, we have to get somewhere between 13 and 15 percent of the black vote and 38-40 percent of the Hispanic vote" in 2004, compared with 9 and 35 percent in 2000.
    In the end, exit polls in 2004 indicated that President Bush came up short of his 13-15 percent goal among blacks, garnering only 11 percent. But among Hispanics, Bush was backed by a very impressive 41 percent of Hispanics.
    But while many Hispanic voters had mixed views on immigration reform at the outset of the congressional debate, they now see the fight as having turned into bashing of immigrants and Hispanics, and this is certainly to the detriment of the Republican Party.
    This is why most of the forward-thinking minds in the Republican Party are so concerned that anti-immigrant elements within the GOP are now inflicting the same long-term damage on the party that California Gov. Pete Wilson did a decade ago, when he sent the party into a tailspin among Hispanic voters in the Golden State from which it has yet to fully recover.
    42
    The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, conducted June 9-12 among 1,002 adults, showed that 44 percent of self-described conservatives preferred the border security-only approach of the House bill while 41 percent backed the combined border security and guest-worker program in the Senate bill.
    Yet, among all adults, the combined Senate approach was preferred 50 percent to 33 percent. Democrats preferred the Senate approach over the House version, 57 percent to 27 percent; independents favored the Senate course, 47 percent to 31 percent, and Republicans were split, with 44 percent backing the Senate plan and 42 percent supporting the House plan. The error margin was 3.1 points for all adults, and larger for the subgroups.
    The question did not attempt to measure the intensity of feeling, just what their opinions were. Among Hispanics however, the Senate bill was preferred over the House bill, 66 percent to 16 percent; presumably, they would feel pretty strongly on the subject.
    A fascinating May 30 USA Today analysis of April and May Gallup polling data revealed that on the issue of whether illegal immigrants should be allowed to work toward citizenship, the nation was divided into four roughly equally-sized groups. These groups are the "hardliners," who were very much against a citizenship path for immigrants; the "unconcerned," who were somewhat against the citizenship path but not particularly motivated on the issue; the "ambivalent," who were somewhat in favor but also not particularly motivated on the issue, and the "welcoming," very much in favor of immigrants having a path toward citizenship.
    With one-quarter strongly supportive of the path to citizenship -- what critics call amnesty -- one-quarter strongly against, and half the country not particularly interested at all, one really wonders whether the anti-immigrant forces realize the damage they might be inflicting on their party in order to curry favor with just one-quarter of the electorate.
    By Charlie Cook
    43

  2. #2
    COOK REPORT: Risky Business
    OFF TO THE RACES Charlie Cook June 20, 2006
    "We can't survive as a party without getting more of the Hispanic vote." -- Matthew Dowd, Chicago Tribune, January 27, 2002
    "...the fact (is) that the Latino vote in this country is the fastest -- growing demographic of the electorate -- it's grown 400 percent in the last 20 years. So this is going to keep happening." It's dynamic, it's growing. And I think both political parties understand that it's a demographic that is probably one of the most important -- you know, who's going to have majority status in this country." -- Dowd, Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2006
    There is no getting around the fact that Matthew Dowd is a pretty smart fellow.
    Having played key strategic roles in the campaigns to both elect and re-elect President Bush, Dowd, now a partner in the ViaNovo international public affairs and strategy firm, has studied every aspect of the body politic. A Google search of his name and the word "Hispanic" gets you a tutorial on the importance of the Hispanic vote to the future of the Republican Party.
    In 1998 I stopped by then-Gov. George W. Bush's re-election campaign headquarters in Austin, and I realized that these folks were seeing the Hispanic vote in a different way than previous generations of Republicans. Communications Director Karen Hughes proudly played the campaign ads for me and showed me the collateral materials aimed at the Latino vote, saying that it was the first major campaign in Texas to run a parallel campaign for the Hispanic vote. I had heard Republicans express hopes for years that they were going to go after the Hispanic vote, but this was the first time that they seemed really serious about it.
    Within months of Bush moving into the White House, Dowd and other top Bush advisers set about to win over the rest of the GOP to the cause of attracting the Hispanic vote. After Bush lost the 2000 popular vote to Al Gore, Dowd was quoted in the Washington Post on July 8, 2001, saying, "Republicans have to increase their percentage among blacks and certainly among Hispanics."
    He went on to say that, "As a realistic goal, we have to get somewhere between 13 and 15 percent of the black vote and 38-40 percent of the Hispanic vote" in 2004, compared with 9 and 35 percent in 2000.
    In the end, exit polls in 2004 indicated that President Bush came up short of his 13-15 percent goal among blacks, garnering only 11 percent. But among Hispanics, Bush was backed by a very impressive 41 percent of Hispanics.
    But while many Hispanic voters had mixed views on immigration reform at the outset of the congressional debate, they now see the fight as having turned into bashing of immigrants and Hispanics, and this is certainly to the detriment of the Republican Party.
    This is why most of the forward-thinking minds in the Republican Party are so concerned that anti-immigrant elements within the GOP are now inflicting the same long-term damage on the party that California Gov. Pete Wilson did a decade ago, when he sent the party into a tailspin among Hispanic voters in the Golden State from which it has yet to fully recover.
    42
    The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, conducted June 9-12 among 1,002 adults, showed that 44 percent of self-described conservatives preferred the border security-only approach of the House bill while 41 percent backed the combined border security and guest-worker program in the Senate bill.
    Yet, among all adults, the combined Senate approach was preferred 50 percent to 33 percent. Democrats preferred the Senate approach over the House version, 57 percent to 27 percent; independents favored the Senate course, 47 percent to 31 percent, and Republicans were split, with 44 percent backing the Senate plan and 42 percent supporting the House plan. The error margin was 3.1 points for all adults, and larger for the subgroups.
    The question did not attempt to measure the intensity of feeling, just what their opinions were. Among Hispanics however, the Senate bill was preferred over the House bill, 66 percent to 16 percent; presumably, they would feel pretty strongly on the subject.
    A fascinating May 30 USA Today analysis of April and May Gallup polling data revealed that on the issue of whether illegal immigrants should be allowed to work toward citizenship, the nation was divided into four roughly equally-sized groups. These groups are the "hardliners," who were very much against a citizenship path for immigrants; the "unconcerned," who were somewhat against the citizenship path but not particularly motivated on the issue; the "ambivalent," who were somewhat in favor but also not particularly motivated on the issue, and the "welcoming," very much in favor of immigrants having a path toward citizenship.
    With one-quarter strongly supportive of the path to citizenship -- what critics call amnesty -- one-quarter strongly against, and half the country not particularly interested at all, one really wonders whether the anti-immigrant forces realize the damage they might be inflicting on their party in order to curry favor with just one-quarter of the electorate.
    By Charlie Cook
    43

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