US Republicans squandered gains made over the years among Hispanic voters in Tuesday's mid-term elections, largely due to their shrill anti-immigrant rhetoric, analysts said.
Republican President George W. Bush, who was governor of the heavily Hispanic state of Texas before entering the White House, helped draw growing numbers of the largest US minority group to his party in elections past.
But 73 percent of Hispanic voters cast ballots Tuesday for Democratic congressional candidates, and only 26 percent voted Republican -- far below the 40 percent Hispanic support Bush received for his 2004 re-election bid, according to a CNN exit poll.
You hear alot about the midterms being a referendum on Bush, but this is one area in which Congressional Republicans needed no help shooting themselves in the foot. The irony is that they were defeated largely because they toed the Bush line on major issues (in addition to the corruption issue of course), but in this one highly significant area where they broke quite publicly with the Bush administration by pandering to nativists and the anti-immigrant mood among their base, they threw away one advantage Bush might have gotten them with comprehensive guest worker legislation. In doing so they lost what gains they'd made among Hispanics, and in return got themselves a 700-mile long wall for which no funds are being set aside to build. Republicans can cry about what the anti-Bush mood did to their party, but they gave the American voter ample reason not to vote for them beyond their connections to the administration.