Republican skepticism of government overall, not the party's stance on borders, alienates the growing demographic.
Leading Republicans are jumping on the immigration reform bandwagon, hoping that taking the issue off the table will give them a second chance to make inroads with Hispanic voters. But even with a bipartisan deal looking within reach, the Republican party may not benefit as much as strategists expect.
Indeed, there's evidence that Hispanic resistance to the Republican Party is as rooted in the GOP's skeptical view of government, as it is their disagreement with GOP hardliners on immigration. The Republican Party calls for smaller government, but many Latinos look to government assistance as a necessity. Forty-two percent of Hispanic voters say that a government job offers the best chance of gaining career success, compared to only one-third of white voters, according to a June Allstate/National Journal/Heartland Monitor poll.
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"Our argument about limited government is always harder to sell than a government program," Florida Senator Marco Rubio told Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday. "It always has been. It's easier to sell cotton candy than it is to sell broccoli to someone, but the broccoli is better for you, and the same thing with a limited government."