Despite what many pundits say, a new survey suggests Republicans have a very good chance to make significant inroads with Hispanic voters this year.
Mark Pfeifle, a former National Security Advisor for Communications and Global Outreach, writes in the Huffington Post that Hispanic voters are frustrated with both parties, and the Obama administration's handling of the economy has damaged Democratic standing with the group. He points to a study by the Libre Initiative that concludes 51% of Hispanic voters rank jobs and the economy as their top issue heading into November.
The Libre Initiative survey showed that widespread disillusionment with the administration's economic policies presents a unique opportunity for Republicans to pick up George W. Bush's 2004 legacy, and in doing so regain the trust of Hispanic voters.
But they'll have to be far more astute in their approach, be more willing to engage Latinos with respect, and to be more prudent in their rhetoric.
The message is clear: stop thinking of Hispanics as simply a pool of votes, and focus on policies that encourage more economic freedom, opportunity, and security. The values of the Hispanic community, family, hard work, and personal responsibility, are Republican values. Hispanics want the same thing as every American: for our country to be a place where if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead.
If Republicans are willing to invest in listening to Hispanics and demonstrating the value of economic freedom to improving their daily lives, many Hispanic voters will reconsider their traditional loyalty to the Democratic cause this November.