The Hispanic vote in presidential elections

A reader provided me with several useful comments on my post regarding the Republican share of the Hispanic vote in presidential elections since 1980. First, he says that the figure I used for George W. Bush’s share in 2004 — 43 percent — is an outlier:

In 2004, NEP (National Exit Poll) reported 44% for Bush, the highest of all ten polls. That result was widely and immediately challenged. Pew Research and NBC News independently checked NEP’s calculations. [Both] independently agreed that NEP’s result should have been 40%. Of the other nine national polls, only [one] came in over 40%. . . .The other eight polls ranged between 32% and 38% for Bush.

Second, looking much further back than I did, our reader says that since 1960, the 2004 election is the ONLY time that Hispanics MIGHT have voted 40% for the GOP.

Third, he presents this distressing news:

Pew Hispanic Center published a remarkable – and completely unreported – research study in 2012. Pew’s conclusion? First generation Hispanics vote 80% for the Democrat Party. Fourth(!) generation Hispanics vote 60% for the Democrat Party.

Unskilled and low-skilled immigrants are, and always have been, natural constituents of the Democrats. And their more highly skilled, and even affluent, descendants tend to remain Democrats. Heck, fourth generation Jewish Americans vote even more heavily for Democrats than fourth generation Hispanics.

Republicans are deluding themselves when they attribute Hispanic voting patterns to the issue of immigration — the numbers don’t support that argument. They are also deluding themselves when they claim that the Hispanic population that has voted so overwhelmingly Democratic for decades can be won over in the foreseeable future by a Republican Party that favors limited government.