“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” - Mark Twain
by Raoul Lowery Contreras – In my 23rd year, I met U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) at the University of Oregon. He signed my copy of his earthshaking book, Conscience of a Conservative.
Being a Republican before I was a “conservative” however, I answered the call to arms of my former boss United States Senator Thomas H. Kuchel (R-CA) to join the fight for the Republican 1964 Presidential nomination on the side of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller.
I was disappointed when the Goldwater wave overrode Governor Rockefeller for the nomination and further disappointed when Lyndon Baines Johnson overwhelmed Goldwater in November, 1964. The GOP was almost killed by the Democratic wave.
The day after the election, pundits of all sorts pronounced the Republican Party dead, dead forever.
Rest in Peace GOP, November 1964… I was 23.
Fifty years later, I am hearing the same words about the Republican Party being dead. More than 95% of Blacks voted for Obama for racial reasons and that won’t happen again. 73% or so of Hispanics voted for Obama, as well, with higher percentages among Puerto Ricans and Dominicans than among Cubans and Mexican Americans. Will that happen again?
Most of the pundits are ultra-liberal writers/commentators of the mass media. Then there is MSNBC’s Chris Mathews who apparently had an orgasm when Obama won in 2008 (“I Felt This Thrill Going Up My Leg”).
Are they right? History tells us they are not. Republicans were routed in 1932 but came back in 1938 when they won 81 House seats and 6 new senators, and actually did so in 1952. Republicans just missed in 1960 after 8 years of President Eisenhower.
After the Goldwater defeat, the GOP was declared dead and buried but the GOP came roaring back just two years later around the country and elected Richard Nixon in 1968.
The 1966 midterm elections were a Republican romp just two years after Goldwater was heavily defeated. 47 new Republican House members were elected; 3 new senators, 8 new governors including Ronald Reagan (CA) and George Romney of Michigan and 700 new state legislators.
Nixon was reelected by the greatest victory wave in the country since Franklin Roosevelt, a victory in 1972 even greater than Eisenhower’s second victory in 1956.
Watergate came and the GOP stumbled but would have won the 1976 Election if President Gerald Ford had just received 10,000 more votes in Ohio.
1980 came and Ronald Reagan’s win was so convincing that Jimmy Carter conceded hours before the polls closed in California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska.
He did better in 1984. In 1988 George H.W. Bush was elected President and carried forth the Reagan/Bush policies for another 4 years.
The Republican Party is not dead, though Democrat partisans wishfully insist that it is.
For example, the Democrat Latino Decisions (LD) group of Hispanic academics based at the University of Washington has published their projections of a growing Latino electorate and how it feels now and will feel in the future if there is no Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). Despite the fact that it was Democrats led by Harry Reid and Barack Obama that torpedoed the 2006-7 Bush CIR proposal, Latino Decisions tells us that Latinos will blame Republicans even if Obama sits on his hands and allows CIR to die.
More importantly Latino Decisions predicts growing Hispanic electorates in their projections but insist on a static 25% of the Latino vote going Republican in their future scenarios.
That, however, is a faulty assumption that destroys their conclusions of how Latinos will vote. They assume, wrongly, that the GOP Hispanic vote will remain at 25% despite the fact that the Hispanic Republican vote has approached 50 percent in past elections; i.e. Hispanic votes have been documented only since 1968.
Their 25% is based on the Romney Hispanic vote of 2012. Belying that assumption are actual Hispanic votes cast for John McCain — 31% and George W. is credited with 44% in 2004. No one knows how Hispanics voted in 1952 and 56 but we can guess that they voted for their Commanding General just like the rest of America did.
The percentage is the key. But it is not when one uses a static 25% based on an outlier election result of 2012.
We know this, since Hispanic votes have been counted and studied, each Republican that has earned 35% or more of the Hispanic vote has won the Presidency; that includes Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II.
Can Republicans increase their Hispanic vote by a third more than Mitt Romney received in 2012? Fact: Hispanics hold two governorships (Brian Sandoval in Nevada, Susanna Martinez in New Mexico) and, one U.S. Senator named Marco Rubio.
Do pundits and Latino Decisions think that more Hispanics won’t vote Republican in 2016 if one of those three Hispanic political giants is on the Republican Presidential ticket?
If they do, they are blind and/or consider Hispanics to be stupid.
Raoul Lowery Contreras (1941) was born in Mexico, raised in the USA. Former U.S. Marine, athlete, Dean’s List at San Diego State. Professional political consultant and California Republican Party official (1963-65)…Television news commentator, radio talk show host…published Op-Ed writer (1988 to present)…author of 12 books (as of 1-05-12). His books are available at Amazon.com