Evangelicos: A Way Back for the GOP

Before Republicans can win evangélicos over, they have to know who they really are.

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The Latino Reformation
Marco Grob for TIME
Can Latino evangelicals help Republicans take a bite out of the Democratic advantage with Hispanic voters?
Maybe. As my cover story “The Latino Reformation” this week suggests, Latino evangelicals are a group that has strong conservative social values—meaning the Republican Party should find them very attractive. They prize the nuclear family. They are largely against abortion and gay marriage.  They also tend to be wealthier than Latino Catholics, and they are more likely to have been born in the United States.

It is a point that Michael Warren of The Weekly Standard explored a couple weeks ago. Republicans have lost a net 30 points among evangélicos since the 2004 presidential campaign. George W. Bush got 69% of the Latino evangelical vote in 2004, and Mitt Romney only had support of 39% of Latino evangelicals in 2012. Warren argues that Republicans should see this as an opening:

Somewhere in the party’s long tradition, there are principles and policies that can attract a group that values family, community, and the church. A party that can win Hispanic evangelicals might be one that can combine pro-family tax policies, pro-growth economic policies, traditionalism on social issues, and a realistic immigration policy.

What I learned after spending time in Iglesias in Chicago and the far suburbs of Washington is a little more complicated than that. But Warren is on to something. But before Republicans can win them over, they have to know who the evangélicos really are. That is what we explore in the magazine this week.

7 comments
KathleenDickson
KathleenDickson

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jmac
jmac

"They prize the nuclear family."  ". . . a group that values families ..."   There is nothing about core family values in ostracizing children or family members who are gay.  Do I have to believe in a God in order to think that harming others is a family value?  If there is a God, he made them.  

The GOP can have  evangelicos along with their stone-throwing evangelicals.  They belong in the GOP.  

sacredh
sacredh

"But before Republicans can win them over, they have to know who the evangélicos really are."

It goes so much deeper than that. Republicans have to get over their angry old white men fixation and look at women and minorities as something other than tokens or a photo op for the cameras to pan to during a convention.



roknsteve
roknsteve

This is a joke, right?  Who thinks up these fairy tales?

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

Also, Elizabeth, there's no inherent reason evangelicos can't be welcomed into the Democratic fold ...but there IS one why they can't be welcomed into the Republican one: again, the teavangelicals / Christian social conservatives. All of the values you listed can be admitted to the D's real Big Tent, even with disagreements. Joe Biden doesn't like abortion but he won't impose it on others. BTW, there is no "gay marriage", there is "marriage" issued and recognized by state / local governments that may or may not include gay couples depending on state laws, except where "civil unions" are administered separately, but that label and legal status are also separate. Churches often get involved in marriage ceremonies but only the state's recognition legally matters. But you already know that, yes?

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

Elizabeth, thanks for taking over the religious reporting role from Amy Sullivan. Do become a regular swampland member (and engage us readers), it won't suck that bad dealing with commentariat (except for a couple of daily right-wing trolls who try to ruin threads, lots of drive-by nonsensical comments, fake libertarians who worship Rand and Ron Paul, etc.), really, it's not that bad. Don't believe everything your teammates are telling you.

That aside (there's always a catch, isn't there?)...

Can Latino evangelicals help Republicans take a bite out of the Democratic advantage with Hispanic voters? Maybe. Will they? No. Why? Because of the intolerant teavangelicals who have hijacked the GOP. Proof? Count the number of immigration bills that have passed Congress since the tea's have taken over. Heck, even George W. Bush was sympathetic to reform and during his neocon's takeover of Congress, count many bills passed during THAT time. (Let alone how many jobs bills have passed R-dominated Congressional sessions, but I digress.)

KathleenDickson
KathleenDickson

Whoops.  Classic Lyme Brain.  This goes on Joe Klein;s abusive article.