Are They Really New “Hispanic Leaders”? Another Take on the Last Election

Over at, Miguel Perez has a very important analytical piece on the new supposed Hispanic “Republican leaders” who won in this last election. He argues they are Hispanic, and elected, but they are not really Hispanic leaders–because for the most part they were elected by non-Latinos and a majority of Latino voters voted against them:

If they have vowed to follow conservative Republican/tea party agendas that are clearly anti-Hispanic, can we really call them Latino leaders just because they have Hispanic surnames? . . . no one calls Clarence Thomas an African-American leader, because that Supreme Court justice is known to stand against his own people on many issues.

These often Tea Party oriented Hispanics want to move backwards, he argues, on civil rights and related issues, so how could a majority of Hispanic voters be expected to endorse them. He gives some interesting statistics:

In most of the top races across the country, among Latino voters Democrats beat Republicans by nearly a 2-1 margin. Only in Florida, where Cuban-Americans traditionally favor Republicans, were some GOP candidates able to surpass Democrats among Latinos. In many races in which the Republican winner was a Latino … the majority of the Hispanic vote went for the Democrat. It happened in New Mexico, where Republican and immigration hard-liner Susana Martinez was elected governor … without the majority of the Hispanic vote. It happened in Nevada, where Brian Sandoval — another anti-immigrant advocate — became the first Latino governor, without the majority of the Hispanic vote. And it happened in various congressional races in which Latino Republican candidates sold their souls to the racist and xenophobic anti-immigrant movement just to get elected.

Most Latino voters, he argues, know that Spanish surnames are not enough, and they know that stereotyping Latino immigrants is attacking their families or communities. The impact, he suggests, may have been enough to keep the U.S. Senate Democratic, because Latinos gave 65 percent of their votes to the wining Democratic candidate in California. Some 81 percent favored the Democratic candidate in Colorado, with 68 percent also going for Reid in Nevada.