Congressman King from Iowa recently made a speech saying that most young Latinos entering the U.S. were "drug mules," which led to Brad Bannon, democratic political consultant with Bannon Communications Research in Washington, D.C., to write an op-ed piece on Politix.com. This bothered Bannon because he believes making those general statements about a group of people is racist and that King's statement is an indication of how far the GOP has to go to make up the deficit it has with Latino voters.
In 2012, 71% of Latinos voted for Obama, which was a record high. In 2016, there will be more Latino voters and "unless the republicans change their ways, they'll get trounced again," says Bannon.
Bannon says that voter ID laws, or laws of suppression are laws in search of a crime. He adds that while there were very few complaints in Texas or anywhere else of voter fraud in the 2012 election, republicans in Texas and elsewhere are using this "mythical fraud" as an excuse to suppress the vote, which is basically the only way they can deal with the burgeoning Latino voter population.
Bannon thinks the intent of the new Texas law is not quash voter fraud but the quash the Latino vote. The only way republicans can hang onto political power in Texas is to make sure Latinos don't vote in large numbers and that's what they're trying to do with this voter ID law, believes Bannon.
The Republican National Committee commissioned a post-mortem of the party's electoral defeats in 2012 and one of the recommendations from the RNC was that republicans have to avoid antagonizing Latino voters. Since then, a lot of republicans have "not gotten the memo," says Bannon. Along with King's racist comments, the republicans in Congress are doing everything they can to block immigration reform and if that's successful, Bannon thinks it will put them in a deeper hole with Latino voters.
Bannon thinks that republicans are having a difficult time coming to grips with the fact that the demographics of this country are changing. The census bureau predicts that by 2040, there will be a 50/50 split between white and minorities and that by 2050, whites will be a minority.
"The reality is, republicans should be embracing immigration reform and trying to open up lines of communication to Latinos, rather than doing everything they can to suppress their voting power," Bannon says.
Brad Bannon is President of Bannon Communications Research, a Washington, D.C.-based political polling and consulting firm. To read Bannon's op-ed piece on this topic, click here. More information can be found at www.bannoncr.com. This video commentary was hosted by The Legal Broadcast Network, which provides on-demand legal content.