The controversial remarks made by billionaire developer and current Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump concerning immigration have resulted in his recent move up in polls among the large number of candidates running to win the Presidency in 2016.
Trumps’s remarks about Mexicans were volatile enough that the head of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, spoke privately to him about toning down the vitriol. That led to Trump dismissing the idea, saying that his opinions were resonating with the Republican base.
The problem for Priebus is that after the G.O.P. lost the 2012 election, he indicated that trying to win a greater number of Latino voters was the key to stopping a long dry spell for the party. That’s because Republican candidate Mitt Romney was only able to garner 27 percent of the Latino vote. Republicans have lost the popular vote in Presidential elections in five of the last six elections.
The reason for the push to be more inclusive toward Latinos was because it’s the largest-growing demographic in the country, which could potentially shift the balance of power for decades. Alienating that group, which Trump has clearly done, puts Priebus in a difficult situation.
To compound the issue, some other Republican candidates have tacitly endorsed what Trump has been saying, including Senator Ted Cruz from Texas, whose family is originally from Cuba.
Those circumstances mean that the G.O.P. runs the risk of being seen by the American people, and Latinos in particular, as hostile, which could doom them politically.