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Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Pete Wilson's Ghost?-Interesting WaTi piece on Republican gains amongst Hispanics.
"The president and the congressional Republicans are scoring the highest with the newest arrivals to America — Latinos who do not speak English and also among Latinos who are not registered to vote," Mr. de Posada said. "It's the newcomers, the non-English speakers, that the Republicans should be going after before the Democrats get them." Among those interviewed in Spanish, the poll found that the president's approval rating was 74 percent, while among those who chose to respond in English, 62 percent approved of the way the president was doing his job.
A lot of the anti-GOP rhetoric stems from the anti-immigrant stance of Pat Buchanan, who was last a major factor in party politics six years ago and the anti-illegal-immigrant Prop 187 passed in 1994 with the big backing of then-governor Pete Wilson, who rode the issue to a second term. The newbies might not have the same feel about the Republican Party given that Wilson and Buchanan are non-factors in the current GOP mix. The piece goes on to mention the positive attitude of the new immigrants, thinking that things will be better for their kids. If coupled with the moral conservatism of most Hispanic immigrants, Republicans could tap that can-do attitude if they can put the redneck streak that has reared up on occasion in the past behind them. A generation of politicians raised in (and somewhat sympathetic to) a more multi-ethnic environment is replacing older politicians who were used to a paler, more Anglo America and had a bit of a redneck streak on many things. If they play their cards right, the Hispanic vote will be easily in play as the Dubya party replaces the Buchanan-Wilson party in the minds of Hispanics.

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