In a cogent analysis in the Washington Examiner, Byron York recently delineated exactly why the mantra that the GOP lost the White House because of its failure among Hispanics is a whopper of a lie.
Using an interactive tool created by Nate Silver of the New York Times that can calculate how the 2012 presidential election would change if racial and ethnic votes had been different, York discovered that in order for Mitt Romney to have defeated Barack Obama, he would have needed to raise his percentage of the Hispanic vote from 27% to a mammoth 73% of the vote.
If Romney had gotten 44% of the Hispanic vote, which was the highest ever recorded for a GOP candidate (George W. Bush in 2004) he would have lost in the electoral college 298 to 240.
If he had gotten 50%, he would have lost 283 to 255.
If he had gotten 60%, the margin would have been the same as 50%
If he had gotten 70%, 70%! of the Hispanic vote, he would have still lost 270 to 268.
So what was the key, if not the Hispanic vote?
The key was with white voters: 5 million white voters didn’t vote. If Romney had raised his percentage of white voters from 60% to 64%, he would have won.
All of this points to the fact that immigration reform, whether for good or ill, is not the key to the GOP winning back the White House. Winning back disillusioned white voters is.