Last month on the radio, conservative KVOR talk-show host Jeff Crank was bouncing ideas off of Tony Sanchez (And I do mean bouncing, because the ideas bounce back in the exact same form that they were launched).
Crank told Sanchez, who is on the board of the Colorado Hispanic Republicans, that the GOP can win over Hispanics on social issues.
CRANK: Well, and a great example of that is on the social issues, you know? I think that the Hispanic community naturally would align with conservative values, of family values, --
SANCHEZ: Oh, they do!
CRANK: -- on marriage, on pro-life issues, and those sorts of things. But the conservatives allow the Left to define them on that issue --
SANCHEZ: Yes! Yes.
CRANK: -- so they didn't vote with us on those issues.
SANCHEZ: I had a - one - I had - I just spoke to a Democrat, an Hispanic. And he said that, "I was glad they didn't focus so much on those issues. We would have lost at least four percentage points had that happened." And the other thing that I would also add is to keep it simple. There's a lot of times that we have a lot of facts, -- and on the conservative side, yeah, it makes a whole lot of sense, but keep the message simple. And make it real clear.
Setting aside the small problem of the devastating backlash among women voters if the GOP decided to focus openly (instead of behind closed doors) on social issues, there's no reason to accept the echo-chamber idea that Hispanics would vote Republican anyway, if GOP candidates starting talking more about gay marriage and abortion.
And, really, how many Hispanics are going to swing to a GOP candidate who aims to ban abortion even for a raped woman? Evangelical Hispanics, yes, who make up about 16 percent of Latino voters and align with the GOP anyway. Seven of 10 Catholic Hispanics align with the Democratic Party.
And it's not as if Democrats are pro-abortion. Most are pro-choice, which reflects an understanding, shared by Hispanics, even if they self-define as anti-choice, of real-world complexities as well as the struggles of poverty. I mean, one of the major reasons Hispanics turned against Romney, according to Project New America's David Winkler, was because he was so unsympathetic to the poor.
I could be wrong, but it's hard to see a significant number of Hispanics peel off from Democrats if the GOP pushed its abortion position even harder. And, again, at what cost to the GOP in terms of other voters, like women, young people, and the four reasonable Republican middle-aged white men out there?
So Sanchez and Crank, a former GOP congressional candidate, who defines himself as "a strong voice for social and fiscal conservative issues in Colorado," should look elsewhere, other than social issues, to prove Ronald Reagan's opinion, which still sits atop the website of Sanchez's Colorado Hispanic Republicans, that "Latinos are Republicans. They just don't know it yet."
As long as the talk-radio sounds keep reverberating, unchallenged, Hispanics will never know they're Republicans. Why would they?