Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Cruz and Kasich’s Departures Leave Many GOP Latinos at a Loss

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Donald Trump’s win for Republican nomination in Indiana has left some GOP Latinos feeling lost with nowhere to turn while others are still just simply trying to absorb the idea of the Trump candidacy. With Cruz and Kasich no longer in the race, Republican Latinos are grappling over who they’ll vote for.

Houston businessman and GOP stalwart Massey Villarreal promised to NBC News Latino that along with not voting for Trump, he would also “…not encourage Latinos to vote for him.” He also made the comment that the Republican Party, “…is not the party of Reagan. It’s the party of Trump and if it is the party of Trump, I’m not a Republican anymore.”

Political scientist Bernard Fraga, an assistant professor at Indiana University, said that the GOP has been losing Hispanics since 2006 and the losses were heightened in 2010 and 2012, due to the party’s rhetoric and actions on immigration. Add in all the negative rhetoric that has been happening during this presidential candidacy race “and you have the perfect storm for Latinos to depart in even greater numbers from the party” and for “Latinos who are still affiliating with the Republican Party to even stay home on Election Day,” Fraga said.

Selling the Republican Party brand in the Latino community has already been an uphill battle, said Mike Madrid, a California GOP strategist and principal at Grassroots Lab. “It’s going to become exponentially more difficult,” he said. He also added that voting for Hillary Clinton is “not an option” for him. He and others warned that the dissatisfaction with Trump as the republican nominee shouldn’t be taken by Democrats as an automatic turnout by Latinos for its nominee.

For many active Latinos in the GOP, they will be more focused on the community and less on partisan politics, Madrid said. “We grew up in the grassroots of community, not in the Republican or Democratic Party,” Villarreal said. Many of the GOP Latinos who are not supporting Trump will be working in local communities to elect mayors, county supervisors, school board members who believe in the core issues that GOP Latinos support, instead of those running on a partisan ticket.