The Hispanic Media and Republicans

Like a lot of people, I find the conventional wisdom about how Republicans need to appeal to minorities to be extremely naïve, and frankly, hopeless. Case in point: the Spanish speaking media. Univision’s number one concern is amnesty for illegal immigrants. Immigration reform (good) and immigration law enforcement (bad) constitute the two most heavily covered domestic issues on Univision and Telemundo. It’s practically wall to wall coverage.

Univision sometimes takes a break from that line to delve into domestic politics. We are curtly informed by a Democratic Estratega that though it is historic to have two Hispanics seeking the Republican nomination, they aren’t really good for Hispanics after all. My translation of Freddy Balsera:

“The Hispanics want to vote for someone whose priorities align with the priorities of the Hispanic community.  And in this case, neither Marco Rubio nor Ted Cruz is on the trajectory to reconcile with the aspirations of our community.”

This type of analysis is peppered with miscellaneous emotional appeals about immigration, featuring mothers separated from their children and other sundry sob stories. Were this your only source of information, you would think the border is in fact being enforced quite ruthlessly, tearing families apart and wantonly deporting scholars and other child prodigies.

I also remember some other Hispanic “strategist” or commentator on “Meet the Press” a couple of weeks ago who opined that the perception amongst Hispanics is that Republicans are mas duro (harder on us). There’s no special love for Jeb Bush in that community, she informed the panel. He may profess his love for them, but it is really not reciprocated. I believe her.  

I predict Jeb Bush would do just as poorly with Hispanics in a general election as Romney did in 2012, at 27 percent, and as poorly as McCain for that matter. Romney at least had the fortitude to take a relatively strong line against illegal immigration. But he didn’t do much worse than McCain with Hispanics in 2008, who got a mere 31 percent of their vote -- after shilling relentlessly for amnesty.  

True, Jeb Bush did well with Hispanics in his gubernatorial race in 1998 in Florida, winning as much as 61 percent. But Florida’s Hispanic population of 1998 was more Cuban than America’s Hispanic population in 2015. It is common knowledge that Cubans are (or at least were) more conservative, and frankly, more European in terms of their ancestry, than most other Hispanics.  Maybe Bush himself cannot make this distinction, hence his misguided confidence in his ability to attract Hispanic voters. Such a misjudgment on Bush’s part would not surprise me: for all his reputed policy acumen, he seems to lack any subtlety of thought.

For Republicans in general, trying to increase this percentage will be impossible given the intense mobilization of the Hispanic media against them. It doesn’t seem as though the Spanish media is even aware of the concept of objectivity, as the Media Research Center has exposed. The mainstream English media perhaps has some lingering self-doubt:  “Are we being too blatant about our leftist cheerleading? Will Rush Limbaugh make fun of this?” Spanish media just throws caution to the wind and starts from the shared premise of their audience that Republicans are the villains.

Telemundo and Univision feature advocates for the left and left wing causes with not even a nod towards “here’s the other side.” At least Fox News tries to trot out a liberal here and there to make their vapid arguments. Notes the MRC: “Overall, Democratic politicians, led by President Obama, Obama administration officials and congressional Democrats, along with spokesmen for left-leaning advocacy organizations, were quoted nearly three times as much as their Republican and conservative counterparts.”

Over the last forty years or so, Hispanics have always gone big for Democrats in presidential elections. The Republican share of their vote has consistently hovered around 25 to 35 percent. Contrary to the impression given by the media, it’s not on a downward trajectory; it’s simply always been low. Republicans’ one “success” story was Bush’s 44 percent showing in 2004. (He lost their vote, mind you.) It should be noted that some put this figure lower, around 40 percent. As to why he did that “well” would likely be the fact that it seemed liked the world was on fire at that point in history. It was an exceptional time period, and whatever positive impression Bush made on any demographic during the War on Terror was promptly squandered.

The takeaway is that the pandering is in vain. Cruz and Rubio’s ethnicity won’t help them win Hispanics’ support. It may somehow please conservatives, eager to appear “diverse”, which is a totally fruitless endeavor. Cruz has a 30-second Spanish ad for his presidential campaign, with the quixotic title, Ted Cruz para Presidente. Is there even one Hispanic who is swayed by this appeal in their native language, telling of the historia which Cruz supposedly shares with his ethnic brethren?

Univision and their ilk don’t care if Republicans are diverse  In fact, no one cares about that except for the conservative media elite and the more credulous Republican voters in their audience. Both of these entities are embarrassingly, obsequiously eager to court more diverse constituents, but the love is not reciprocated.

Contact Malcolm Unwell

Like a lot of people, I find the conventional wisdom about how Republicans need to appeal to minorities to be extremely naïve, and frankly, hopeless. Case in point: the Spanish speaking media. Univision’s number one concern is amnesty for illegal immigrants. Immigration reform (good) and immigration law enforcement (bad) constitute the two most heavily covered domestic issues on Univision and Telemundo. It’s practically wall to wall coverage.

Univision sometimes takes a break from that line to delve into domestic politics. We are curtly informed by a Democratic Estratega that though it is historic to have two Hispanics seeking the Republican nomination, they aren’t really good for Hispanics after all. My translation of Freddy Balsera:

“The Hispanics want to vote for someone whose priorities align with the priorities of the Hispanic community.  And in this case, neither Marco Rubio nor Ted Cruz is on the trajectory to reconcile with the aspirations of our community.”

This type of analysis is peppered with miscellaneous emotional appeals about immigration, featuring mothers separated from their children and other sundry sob stories. Were this your only source of information, you would think the border is in fact being enforced quite ruthlessly, tearing families apart and wantonly deporting scholars and other child prodigies.

I also remember some other Hispanic “strategist” or commentator on “Meet the Press” a couple of weeks ago who opined that the perception amongst Hispanics is that Republicans are mas duro (harder on us). There’s no special love for Jeb Bush in that community, she informed the panel. He may profess his love for them, but it is really not reciprocated. I believe her.  

I predict Jeb Bush would do just as poorly with Hispanics in a general election as Romney did in 2012, at 27 percent, and as poorly as McCain for that matter. Romney at least had the fortitude to take a relatively strong line against illegal immigration. But he didn’t do much worse than McCain with Hispanics in 2008, who got a mere 31 percent of their vote -- after shilling relentlessly for amnesty.  

True, Jeb Bush did well with Hispanics in his gubernatorial race in 1998 in Florida, winning as much as 61 percent. But Florida’s Hispanic population of 1998 was more Cuban than America’s Hispanic population in 2015. It is common knowledge that Cubans are (or at least were) more conservative, and frankly, more European in terms of their ancestry, than most other Hispanics.  Maybe Bush himself cannot make this distinction, hence his misguided confidence in his ability to attract Hispanic voters. Such a misjudgment on Bush’s part would not surprise me: for all his reputed policy acumen, he seems to lack any subtlety of thought.

For Republicans in general, trying to increase this percentage will be impossible given the intense mobilization of the Hispanic media against them. It doesn’t seem as though the Spanish media is even aware of the concept of objectivity, as the Media Research Center has exposed. The mainstream English media perhaps has some lingering self-doubt:  “Are we being too blatant about our leftist cheerleading? Will Rush Limbaugh make fun of this?” Spanish media just throws caution to the wind and starts from the shared premise of their audience that Republicans are the villains.

Telemundo and Univision feature advocates for the left and left wing causes with not even a nod towards “here’s the other side.” At least Fox News tries to trot out a liberal here and there to make their vapid arguments. Notes the MRC: “Overall, Democratic politicians, led by President Obama, Obama administration officials and congressional Democrats, along with spokesmen for left-leaning advocacy organizations, were quoted nearly three times as much as their Republican and conservative counterparts.”

Over the last forty years or so, Hispanics have always gone big for Democrats in presidential elections. The Republican share of their vote has consistently hovered around 25 to 35 percent. Contrary to the impression given by the media, it’s not on a downward trajectory; it’s simply always been low. Republicans’ one “success” story was Bush’s 44 percent showing in 2004. (He lost their vote, mind you.) It should be noted that some put this figure lower, around 40 percent. As to why he did that “well” would likely be the fact that it seemed liked the world was on fire at that point in history. It was an exceptional time period, and whatever positive impression Bush made on any demographic during the War on Terror was promptly squandered.

The takeaway is that the pandering is in vain. Cruz and Rubio’s ethnicity won’t help them win Hispanics’ support. It may somehow please conservatives, eager to appear “diverse”, which is a totally fruitless endeavor. Cruz has a 30-second Spanish ad for his presidential campaign, with the quixotic title, Ted Cruz para Presidente. Is there even one Hispanic who is swayed by this appeal in their native language, telling of the historia which Cruz supposedly shares with his ethnic brethren?

Univision and their ilk don’t care if Republicans are diverse  In fact, no one cares about that except for the conservative media elite and the more credulous Republican voters in their audience. Both of these entities are embarrassingly, obsequiously eager to court more diverse constituents, but the love is not reciprocated.

Contact Malcolm Unwell