Latino Evangelicals

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In today’s Sacramento Bee, Aurelio Rojas has an instructive profile of Samuel Rodriguez, Assembly of God pastor and head of the 18,000-member National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference–the go-to guy for presidential candidates interested in courting the Latino evangelical vote. Rodriguez is excruciatingly even-handed in his comments, finding a nice thing to say about all remaining contenders. Lurking not far beneath the surface is the problem the immigration issue has posed for the GOP. If the failure of the comprehensive immigration bill broke Rodriguez’s heart, the embrace of anti-immigration politics by Republicans will only send his flock into the Democratic camp–where they swung in the last election (see here). In the 2002 congressional vote, Protestants who are neither white nor black (i.e. Latino evangelicals for the most part) split slightly in favor of the GOP. In 2004, they broke 58 percent to 42 percent for the GOP. But in 2006, they went Democratic, by better than 53 percent to 47 percent. This is not a a huge portion of the electorate–between three and four percent–but in heavily Latino swing states like Arizona and New Mexico and Colorado and Nevada, it can make a difference.

  • Asinus Gravis

    It should be no surprise that persons who actually believe that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, that it is the final word on how they should act, would vote against persons who openly advocate abusing and harassing aliens.
    The message of the Bible is consistent throughout that we are required to treat aliens (strangers, sojourners–i.e. immigrants) in the same way we treat our fellow citizens.
    There is no way one can be consistently pro-life and support policies that take away from people the means to feed their families and keep them alive.
    There is no way one can be serious about family values and consistently support policies that tear the families of immigrants apart.
    The surprise is that any Hispanic evangelicals end up voting for Republicans.