Andrew Gelman runs the numbers and comes up with a new reason why Republicans may not care about alienating Hispanic voters by having their members of congress compare NCLR to the Ku Klux Klan. He takes a look at what the 2008 electoral college would look like if we transferred half of John McCain’s Hispanic votes in each state to Barack Obama:
Basically . . . not much happens. Missouri might tip to Obama.
That said, a presidential election is a zero-sum game. Given that McCain lost, in a sense any counterfactual scenario in which he gets fewer votes isn’t very different from a scenario in which he loses. I think the real question about alienating Hispanic voters is what kind of scenario can we envision in which the GOP captures the White House without retaking Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. Nate Silver has the answer and dubs his map “Operation Gringo.”
Long story short, it can be done, but Republicans would have to start doing much better in the Rust Belt.