From The Mouth Of Morris
I know it's pointless to look to Dick Morris for prognostication, but I was intrigued by the promise of the headline: "New Poll Data Shows Republicans Can Win Latino Vote"
That sure sounded anti-intuitive. So I read the piece. Here's the argument--a recent poll shows a majority of Republicans supporting legislation* that would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants and they support Marco Rubio's somewhat tougher immigration reform plan even more. To Morris, this shows Republicans are changing and will be able to appeal more to Latino voters.
A poll of Republicans? Who cares. The headine is bait and switch. I was expecting a poll of Latinos showing their vote starting to trend right. Or a poll of Latinos showing they line up with Republicans on a lot of issues so might be convinced to change their voting patterns. Or just a poll of Latinos, no matter what it showed.
Even if immigration reform was at the top of their list of concerns (and it isn't), they'd still be voting strongly Democrat no matter what the Republicans do--you don't change a pattern like that overnight. Maybe in the long run Republicans can win their vote, but getting, say, 45%--forget a majority--any time soon in a Presidential election (unless they run a Latino--then who can say?) would be a miracle, and getting even 40% would be highly unlikely.
Even after Reagan offered flat-out amnesty, Latinos still voted Democrat. The politics of immigration reform is a zero-sum game, and it's hard to argue that a law that creates net votes for Democrats can somehow help Republicans. (What's good for the country regardless of the political outcome is a different question, of course.)
*Actually, the poll shows about a third strongly support it, about a third vaguely support it and about a third oppose it, but let's give Dick his talking point. And let's also assume this is a change in how Republicans feel though I have no idea if it is. In general, Americans of both parties oppose amnesty but if you describe a program that sounds like illegal immigrants will have to jump through a lot of hoops to become citizens they like it a lot more.