GOP needs much bigger share of Latino vote for ‘16 win, study finds

Republicans probably need as much as 47 percent of the Latino vote next year to win the presidency, according to a new study, and current polls suggest that could be tough to reach.

A study released Friday by Latino Decisions, which specializes in Latino public opinion research, said that if the white vote is 59 percent of the 2016 electorate, the 2012 share, Republicans would need 47 percent of the Hispanic vote to reach a majority. The Hispanic vote is projected to be a higher percentage of the overall vote next year than in 2012.

“Republicans do seem to have a quite a mountain to climb,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, which advocates for changes in the nation’s immigration system.

Republicans contended that the polling was conducted by a group friendly to Democrats. “Latinos have heard the same story from Democrats for far too long, whether it’s the economy, education or immigration. Democrats’ playbook is full of empty rhetoric and broken promises. Latino Decisions is a left-leaning organization that proved to be one of the most inaccurate pollsters of the 2014 elections, so we will take their results in context.,” said Ruth Guerra, Republican National Committee Director of Hispanic Media

The study found Republicans need similar showings to win majorities in key states: Colorado, 44 percent; Florida, 47 percent; New Mexico, 42 percent; Nevada, 45 percent, Ohio, 43 percent and Virginia, 46 percent.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won an estimated 27 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, exit polls found. When George W. Bush, the last Republican to win the White House, won in 2004, he got an estimated 40 percent.

A poll released Thursday by the Univision television network found that if Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton ran against former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican who speaks fluent Spanish and whose wife is a Mexican-American, she would win 64 percent of the Latino vote to Bush’s 27 percent.

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