Report: GOP has much to overcome to win Latino vote

Oct. 18, 2013 at 7:41 PM
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SACRAMENTO, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Republicans may have no chance of winning the Latino vote if they stall immigration reform in Congress, a firm specializing in Latino political opinion said.

Latino Decisions, based in Seattle, issued a report Thursday titled "The Prop 187 Effect," in which it compares a possible House block on comprehensive immigration reform to California's Proposition 187 in 1994, U-T San Diego reported.

Prop 187, which was championed by former California Gov. Pete Wilson and approved by voters, blocked undocumented immigrants from receiving state benefits such as healthcare and education.

The initiative was later struck down in court but Democrats subsequently gained control of the California legislature, and have turned a majority into a so-called super-majority -- enough votes to overcome GOP opposition on any issue.

"Today, the national Republican Party is facing the same crossroads the California GOP faced in 1994," Latino Decisions said in a release. "However the national GOP has the benefit of hindsight -- being able to evaluate how the Prop 187 era anti-immigrant politics impacted the GOP's viability in California."

If the GOP wants to sway the Latino vote, Latino Decisions said, the party should allow a House vote on immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship.

"The path to electoral recovery is in trying to appeal to Latino voters who are here," Gary Segura, co-founder of the Latino Decisions. "The Latino vote is more swing than any other vote."

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