Wednesday, March 28, 2012

California GOP Shooting Itself In The Head With Hispanic Voters... Again


Innate right wing bigotry has spoiled Republican efforts to woo the large and rapidly growing Hispanic vote. Other than Cubans-- many from neo-fascist families that fled the revolution in their homeland and found American right-wing Republicans a natural fit-- Hispanic voters have overwhelmingly rejected the GOP. Even when Hispanic voters are smart enough to recognize that conservative Democrats like Obama are not their friends, they also recognize that Republicans are their enemies. PPP isn't finding any good news for the Republicans among Hispanic voters:
Obama's approval numbers with Hispanics are down. But Hispanic voters absolutely hate the GOP field. And because of that Obama's winning margins with Hispanics would be as large or even larger than they were in 2008 if the election was today and they'd be one of the key groups propelling him to reelection.

On our weekly national poll for Daily Kos this week Obama's approval with Hispanics came in at only 50%. Yet on our last national horse race poll Obama led Mitt Romney by 38 points (67-29) with that group and against Rick Perry his advantage went all the way up to 43 points at 70-27. Obama won the Hispanic vote by 36 points nationally in 2008 so his margins over both Romney and Perry represent an improvement. Hispanics may not be enamored with Obama but they're a whole lot bigger on him than they are Romney (29/52 favorability) and Perry (16/61 favorability).

It's a similar story in Florida and Colorado, the two most pivotal swing states where Hispanics play an important role. In Florida Obama's approval with Hispanics is a decent +20 spread at 59/39. But his actual lead over both Perry and Romney nearly doubles his approval numbers-- he's up 39 points on each at 66-27 and 65-26 respectively. Exit polls showed Obama winning Florida Hispanics by only 15 points in 2008.

Hispanics are really what's keeping Obama in the game in Sunshine State-- strip them out and he trails Romney 49-43 and leads Perry only 47-46. But their overwhelming support is worth 6-7 points to Obama on the margin, giving him a 1 point lead over Romney and a 7 point one over Perry overall. Again the story here is a strong dislike for the GOP frontrunners-- Romney's favorability with Hispanics is 36/50 and Perry's is 25/68.

Obama's building on his 2008 advantage with Hispanics in Colorado as well. He won them by 23 points last time but now has a 32 point lead over Romney with them at 63-31.

Yesterday there were two big stories regarding Republicans and Hispanic voters, one in Florida and one in California, two of the three states with the most Hispanic voters. And the two stories demonstrated why the GOP isn't making any headway with this crucial group. Marco Rubio, a very far right Cuban-American scrambling to get the VP nomination on the doomed Romney ticket, is trying to come up with some kind of mystery meat plan that allows conservative Republicans in Congress to vote for the DREAM Act. But at the same time, California Republicans, long anethema to most Hispanic voters, is suing a Hispanic congressional candidate for, basically, being too inspirational.

Politically, José Hernández may be the kind of standard, garden variety Democrat the DCCC embraces, but his personal story is immense and undeniable. The guy could be a major political star. Short version: he started out picking crops with his migrant laborer family and ended up as an astronaut. Hernández didn't even learn English until he was 12 but was soon recognized as a math and science genius and earned an engineering degree and helped develop the first full-field digital mammography imaging system while working at the Lawrence Livermore Labs. He later went to work for NASA in Houston at the Johnson Space Center and while in orbit in 2009, became the first person to use the Spanish language in space while tweeting. He later became NASA's congressional liaison and is now running for Congress against über-vulnerable freshman Jeff Denham in California's new 10th district (southern San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, and is split between Republican leaning Manteca and Democratic leaning Tracy. (Obama beat McCain in the new boundaries, 50-47%.) The GOP reaction comes natural to them-- denigrate Hernández.
San Joaquin Valley congressional candidate José Hernández flew in space, but his astronaut identity is now under political fire.

In a pointed new challenge, a Sacramento law firm is asking a judge to block Hernández from describing himself as an "astronaut/scientist/engineer" on the June ballot. The lawsuit notes Hernández has left NASA.

"Hernández's attempted use of 'astronaut' violates the Election Code's unambiguous requirement that a candidate's ballot designation reflect one's current profession, vocation, or one held during the previous calendar year," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit quietly filed Wednesday in Sacramento County Superior Court by the firm Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk strikes right at the heart of Hernandez's biography. It's a life story he's making considerable use of as he seeks to challenge freshman Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock.

"I went from plowshares to the stars," Hernández told supporters when he announced his candidacy in Modesto in October.

...Attorney Charles Bell Jr., one of two lawyers named on the lawsuit, is general counsel to the California Republican Party. The other attorney listed on the lawsuit, Brian Hildreth, has worked for former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson. The attorneys could not be reached for comment late Friday.

The Republicans are too tone def to Latino aspirations to realize how badly they are alienating a community that has already buried them politically in California and will do the same thing nationally if they persist in making Hispanics their enemies. As Wonkette pointed out yesterday, Hispanic voters are going to realize the Republicans aren't kosher.
What a fun trend this could be, minorities having to go to court for permission to publicly associate with their life’s work! There’s some job creation for you: Hernández says on his Facebook page that it will cost $20,000 to hire lawyers to defeat the lawsuit.

Disgraced megalomaniacs like Newt Gingrich will still be referred to by their former titles such as “Mr. Speaker,” but only as a special reward for being forced to resign his post in shame.

UPDATE: Denham's Idiotic Lawsuit Tossed Out Of Court

The Republican villains-- foiled again in their battle to hold down California's vibrant Hispanic population. A Superior Court Judge laughed in their faces. I got this from José Hernández today: "They took us to court, and we won: I’m allowed to tell Californians that I’m an astronaut... Jeff Denham and the GOP sued my campaign over my title because they are desperate. My story is proof that the American Dream is still alive, and I am running for Congress to keep the American Dream strong for Californians and for future generations."

Hey, Denham, what have you ever accomplished in your miserable, selfish career?

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At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Election Code requirement that a candidate's ballot designation reflect one's current profession, vocation, or one held during the previous calendar year;

So, if astronaut is appropriate for a description, wouldn't 'farm worker/restaurant owner/astronaut/scientist/engineer/political candidate be more exact?
After all, he left his engineering job and restaurant in the Houston area behind to move back to California to run for office.

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Weldon Berger said...

That poll can't be very current if it's measuring Obama against Perry, but yes, his campaign team will have much to answer for if they don't crush Romney or whoever among Hispanic voters. George Zimmerman excluded.

At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The person who filed this lawsuit is a Pastor. Isn't he over stepping his own boundaries? Whatever happened to the separation of church and state? He shouldn't be able to get away with not pay taxing while he's involving himself with politics.


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