Memo From Middle America | Cory Gardner Panders With “Hispanic Values Ad”—But What About White Coloradans?
October 25, 2014, 05:58 PM
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Colorado Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner is pandering to Hispanics rather than appealing to American patriotism. The proof: an embarrassing ad full of Beltway Right wishful thinking about Hispanics that practically endorses the Hispanicization of the United States. It won’t work: if Gardner ekes out a win it will be because of white votes. Ironically, a National Conservative appeal would probably do better among Hispanics anyway.

It’s not that surprising, considering Gardner is no Tom Tancredo. Gardner earned an F- from Numbers USA for his efforts in the most recent Congress. This rating largely comes from his refusal to defund the Obama Regime’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) administrative amnesty, which sparked the recent Children’s Crusade against our Southern border. For 2013-2014, Gardner actually has a worse rating than his Democratic opponent Senator Mark Udall, though Gardner has a B- for his career compared to Udall’s career D rating.

In an October 6 debate, Gardner pandered hard, attacking Udall for voting for enforcement. Gardner backed amnesty and guest worker program:

Gardner also came out in favor of what he called “earned status” as “part” of comprehensive immigration reform when asked whether he favored extending legal status to illegal immigrants, and that “Ultimately I think the DREAM Act is going to be part of the solution.”

Cory Gardner Runs Left On Immigration,by Jonathan Strong, Breitbart, October 6, 2014

So it’s not surprising we now see an ad supporting Gardner from the group “Conservative War Chest” that is running in both English and Spanish. It claims Udall is waging a war on “Hispanic values.” This was hailed as a revelation by John Hinderaker at Powerline, (who has otherwise written some good stuff recently). He gurgled,
It is aggressive, to put it mildly; it will be fun to hear the Democrats squawk about it over the days to come. The ad represents the most meaningful effort I have seen to take seriously the idea that most Hispanic voters have conservative, not liberal, values, and should be voting Republican.

[Hispanic Voters Are Reagan Voters, October 16, 2014]

The ad reads:
Mark Udall is part of the Democratic Party´s war on Hispanic hopes and values.

He votes for the high taxes and huge debt that kill new jobs, the low growth policies of extremist liberals in Washington who hold onto power by keeping everyone dependent on government and deny Hispanics their share of the American dream.

Mark Udall did not protest when the Democratic party used cutbacks

and social experiments to degrade the U.S. military in which so many Hispanics have won the medal of honor. (Screen shows a Hispanic soldier and, the words “Hispanic Medal of Honor, Most decorated Ethnic Group”).

When Democratic leader Dick Durbin called our soldiers Nazis

Mark Udall did not demand his resignation.

Mark Udall made false promises about Obamacare and voted for its persecution of Scriptural Christians, Catholic hospitals and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

He never protested those removing God from the public square (Screen shows removal of an “In God We Trust” plaque”) or favoring abortion on demand and overturning traditional marriage.

Send a message to Mark Udall.

On screen, the following slogans appear in rapid succession:
  • Hispanic Voters are Reagan Voters
  • Faith Family Freedom
  • Strong Growth
  • Strong Defense
  • Strong Values
  • Strong America
  • Elect Cory Gardner Viva the Hispanic-American future
The problem here: the ad jumbles a number of issues together, some of which don’t really add up as “Hispanic values.” Of course Hispanics, like everyone else, are concerned about jobs and unemployment. But polling data shows that Hispanics aren’t particularly concerned about the federal deficit, at least not as much as they are concerned about the gap between rich and poor. [Hispanic voters put other issues before immigration, by Lydia Saad, Gallup, June 25, 2012]

Furthermore, many Hispanics in Colorado are either immigrants or the children of immigrants—unlikely to be concerned about “extremist liberals in Washington who hold onto power by keeping everyone dependent on government.” Insofar as we can determine “Hispanic values” from polls and voting records, they are economically liberal .

Regarding Obamacare, it is true that some polls show a little under 60% of Colorado Hispanics oppose it. But we don’t know if it is because it’s too socialist—or not socialist enough. [Poll: 57 percent of Colorado Hispanics disapprove of Obamacare, by Patrick Howley, Daily Caller, March 18, 2014]

There are many Hispanics who served honorably in the military, including those with whom I served in the Texas Army National Guard. But there’s no polling data suggesting Hispanics think there’s an effort to “degrade the U.S. military.” And it’s simply not true that Hispanics are the “most decorated ethnic group.”

The ad seems to assume that Mexicans are automatic social conservatives, firmly dedicated to defending religious orders. However, much of recent Mexican history has been defined by an anti-clerical struggle and there’s a stricter “separation of church and state” in Mexico than in the United States. As for “overturning traditional marriage,” that is already becoming a reality in Mexico and Hispanic women in the United States have a higher abortion rate than white women.

Gardner could contend that a poll released by the Denver Post shows he is actually winning among Colorado Hispanics 49% to 35%. [Despite opposing Obama’s immigration reform, Cory Gardner leading among Colorado Hispanics, by Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner, October 18, 2014]

However, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. A Rasmussen poll taken last month shows Gardner losing Hispanics 62% to 28%. And Gardner is only winning the white vote by three points, 48% to 45%. [Crosstabs—Election 2014: Colorado Senate—September 29-30, 2014]

Matt Barreto [Email] of the Hispanic polling firm Latino Decisions explains,

There is absolutely no way that Cory Gardner will win the Latino vote in Colorado. Obama won well over 80% of the Latino vote in 2012 and Gardner has been just awful on Latino issues, especially immigration issues. Our Colorado polling has very consistently shown Gardner way behind with Latino voters. The mainstream polls are just plain wrong in their Latino samples.

[Pollster: Most People Are Getting The Critical Latino Vote Wrong In Colorado, by Adrian Carrasquillo, Buzzfeed, October 21, 2014]

Leaving aside the ethnocentric editorializing, this explanation makes more sense than a Colorado Republican managing a near-30 point swing from Democrats to Republicans in two years. Buzzfeed’s Carrasquillo reports another poll, released by Latino Decisions and The National Council of La Raza with quite different results. This poll
…. found that 66% of Latinos say they will or are likely to vote for Udall, while only 17% said they would definitely or are likely to vote for Gardner. But of those who were interviewed in Spanish, 76% said they will vote for or are likely to vote for Udall.
Among Spanish-speaking Hispanics, more than three-quarters are voting Democratic. How did other polling companies miss this?
Latino Decisions says that mainstream polls fail in capturing the nuance of the Latino vote because many only poll in English, with small samples of Latinos somewhere in the 40-60 range, whereas they survey 400-600 bilingually. Cell-phone only, Spanish-speaking, lower socio-economic status Latinos are the most Democratic of all Latino voters, they argue, and are the most difficult and costly voters to include in a poll, according to a recent blog post. Polls in English, on the other hand, oversample higher income Latinos who are more likely to lean Republican, according to Barreto.
Suffice to say that Spanish-speaking, lower income voters are not likely to be won over by clumsy ads paying tribute to Ronald Reagan.

You would think that if Coloradans don't speak English, they can't vote. You’d be wrong. The immigration laws that mandate English proficiency for naturalization are not enforced.

"Civil Rights" laws, mandating ballot access for language minorities, are.

But all of this pales before the real issue. What is the meaning of “Viva the Hispanic-American future”? Besides the awkwardness of the phrase, it symbolizes a surrender to Balkanization.

And more than that—it never works. Look at the fates of George W. Bush and John McCain, who gained nothing in the way of Hispanic votes despite their near-fanatical support for amnesty.

Pandering encourages Hispanics to think of themselves as members of a group that is privileged by the government, yet somehow oppressed by whites.

And sure enough, in that aforementioned Latino Decisions/La Raza poll (PDF) in Colorado, a plurality of 45% of those polled said they were voting “to support and represent the Latino community,” with an additional 32% saying they were voting to support the Democrat. Only 13% claiming to support the Republican.

If the GOP (or GAP—a Generic American Party) wants to defend the country, it must toss out the pandering to Latinos. Appeal to Americans as Americans and the Hispanics who really identify with the United States will have your back. You might be surprised at how many there are.

As for those who don’t, why do you want their votes anyway?

American citizen Allan Wall (email him) moved back to the U.S.A. in 2008 after many years residing in Mexico. Allan's wife is Mexican, and their two sons are bilingual.  In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here ; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.