After President Obama cleaned house among Latino voters last week, Republicans are already considering how they can reach out to this growing demographic that showed little interest in what the GOP was selling this election cycle. Polling data from the state of Texas, where Latino Republican Sen-elect Ted Cruz was on the ballot, suggests that Republicans will not be able to close this gap simply by running Hispanic candidates. Although there is no exit polling from Texas in the 2012 election, polling data from Latino Decisions indicates that Texas Latinos overwhelmingly favored Cruz’ opponent:
Although Cruz did outperform GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney among Latinos, Cruz actually performed slightly worse among Latinos than white Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) did in 2008 — when Cornyn received 36 percent of the Latino vote.
The likely lesson of these results is that candidates such as Cruz or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) do not possess a magic wand that can vanish away the Republican Party’s electability problem. If Republicans want to attract Latino voters, they will need to do so by embracing policies that Latinos actually want to see enacted.