BY: JORGE BONILLA
What if a conservative border-state congressman could show the GOP the way to earn (and hold) a significant portion of the Hispanic vote? Would the D.C.-Miami consultant/establishment class take heed from a member of both the Republican Study Committee the Tea Party Caucus, or would it continue to roll along the pander-paved path to bolivian?
Steve Pearce outperformed Mitt Romney by 20 points in New Mexico’s 2nd District, and he didn’t do it by pandering on immigration, healthcare, or entitlements. Pearce balances support for a path to citizenship for the undocumented with an enforcement-and-security-first approach to the border. In other words, he’s not the squish that the media seems to prefer for these sort of outreach efforts.
So, how does he do it? He pounds the pavement. He goes into the community and engages with his constituents. He doesn’t rely solely on Spanish-language media ad buys and Hispanic surrogates to shout “Viva Pearce” from the rooftops. In other words, he works for, and earns his support.
Click to watch.
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In many ways, Pearce’s experience and success validates what I believe to be a very important paper, a primer on Hispanic outreach put forth by a group of young conservatives of Hispanic descent.
“What Conservatives Are Doing Wrong With Hispanics And How to Fix It” is a comprehensive primer put forth by Brittney Morrett and Sam Rosado (with contributions from Michelle Lancaster and Ben Domenech) in the wake of Barack Obama’s 71-27 annihilation of Mitt Romney among Hispanic voters. Its recommendations are simple and straightforward, and I believe this to be a mandatory read for ANYBODY who thinks that they may get involved with conservative Hispanic outreach.
In combining the primer with Pearce’s experiences in the field, conservatives can begin to see a way forward. More importantly, Pearce proves that one can conduct effective outreach without compromising their principles.
Let that be a lesson to us all.