WASHINGTON - — The Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, a national organization of conservative Hispanics, today called on the Pew Hispanic Center to correct its recent report “the Latino Vote in the 2010 Elections,” which alleges that “Latino voters continued their strong support for Democratic candidates nationwide.”
“The report falsely tries to create the perception that there have not been any significant changes in the political preferences of Latino voters by purposely understating the modest, but important gains Republicans made with Latino voters in the midterm elections,” said Alfonso Aguilar, Executive Director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles. “Latinos favored Democrats over Republicans in House races by a 64 to 34 percent margin in the midterm elections, compared to a 68 to 29 margin in 2008. This represents a 5 percent increase in Latino support for Republicans and an overall improvement of 9 points from the margin of difference House Democrats enjoyed in the ’06 and the ’08 elections, which by no means is an insignificant shift in voter preference.”
Yet the report surprisingly omits key data in its analysis. It compares CNN national exit polls for the congressional elections in the past midterm elections with the equivalent data for the 2006 elections, but totally omits a comparison with the 2008 CNN House data. Instead, it erroneously compares the 2010 House numbers with the 2008 presidential election numbers.
“In 2008, House Democrats did slightly better than Obama and House Republicans did slightly worse than McCain. Therefore, by comparing the 2010 House numbers with the ’08 presidential numbers, the report underestimates the performance of House Republicans among Latinos in Tuesday’s midterm elections,” Mr. Aguilar said.
Moreover, the report also promotes the perception that Democrats have a hold on the Latino vote by making the simplistic generalization that in senate and gubernatorial races “Democratic candidates won the Latino vote, usually by wide margins.” It again selectively mentions data in its analysis to make its point, not mentioning that Republicans like Arizona U.S. Senate candidate John McCain and Texas Gubernatorial candidate Rick Perry won 40 percent and 38 percent of the Latino vote respectively.
Even in its analysis of senate races where Democrats did win by a wide margin, the report fails to point out how Republican performance has improved from the past. In California, for example, Republican candidate Carly Fiorina received 28 percent of the Latino vote, 5 percent more than the last two Republican opponents of Democrat Barbara Boxer, and Boxer’s share of the Latino vote has gone down from 72 percent in 1998 and 73 percent in 2004 to 65 percent in 2010. This means that Boxer’s winning margin over Republican opponents among Latino voters has shrunk from 49-50 percent in the past to 37 percent today.
Hispanic Republicans doubled their presence in the House, from three seats currently to seven in the next Congress. Hispanic Republicans won congressional seats in Idaho (Raul Labrador), Texas (Quico Canseco and Bill Flores) and Washington State (Jaime Herrera).
The Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles promotes conservative values and ideals within the Latino community and works to integrate Latinos into fuller and more active participation and leadership in the conservative movement. It is an initiative of The American Principles Project, a 501(c)(3) organization.