Latinos Identify as Conservative

John Seiler:

One of the curious findings of the weekend’s L.A. Times/USC poll was that Latinos call themselves “conservative” by 40 percent, “moderate” percent 32 and “liberal” 23 percent. See Question 74.

That means Latinos are more conservative that whites, who identified that way by 36 percent, moderate 36 percent and liberal 23 percent.

The poll doesn’t include blacks and Asians. And it doesn’t get more specific by including “libertarian” among its political labels, presumably subsuming that into “conservative.” Moreover, political labels nowadays are much fuzzier than they were a decade or more ago.

Still, how do we explain that Latinos, at base, are “conservative,” yet vote for liberal Democrats in California?

I think the reason is the dismal candidates put up by the GOP. Latinos did like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but in the end his disastrous policies turned off everybody, severely tainting the GOP brand. Meg Whitman’s Nannygate disaster only made worse what was a disastrous, albeit expensive, candidacy.

By contrast, in other states the GOP has put up such winning candidates as Gov. Brian Sandoval in Nevada and Gov. Susana Martinez in New Mexico (pictured above). Both campaigned as small-government, reform Republicans. According to Martinez’ Web site, “She entered the race on July 17, 2009 pledging to cut wasteful spending, lower taxes to create more jobs, end “pay-to-play” practices and other corruption in government and fight to reform education.

Note that: lower taxes.

We’ll see how they actually do over their full terms of office. But the GOP in those states obviously is doing things right.

Maybe it’s a blessing for those states not to have Silicon Valley billionaires and steroid-bloated action stars — and Republican party officials that kiss up to them.

Californians of all ethnic groups want responsible, small-government candidates with the guts to implement reforms. When the GOP finally starts nominating such candidates, maybe Latinos will start voting for them.

April 26, 2011


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