As many Republicans will tell you, illegal immigration is hardly the only issue that Latino voters care about. And they're right about that.
But still, the RNC needs to read the latest report from the Pew Hispanic Center that came out right before the New Year:
Latinos are nearly twice as likely as the general public (42% versus 24%) to say the priority should be a path to citizenship for immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.
About as many Latinos as the general public (46% versus 43%) say equal priority should be given to enforcement and legalization. Just 10% of Latinos say priority should be given to better border security and enforcement, compared with 29% of the general public.
On a conference call on Wednesday, RNC Chair Reince Priebus said that with the Hispanic unemployment rate at 11 percent, the "Republican message of economic security will resonate with Latinos." He added that the party will now employ "an aggressive communications plan to make sure Latinos are hearing our message of job creation." Oh, and there's also a new RNC Latino Twitter account and Tumblr blog.
The GOP's apparent nominee, Mitt Romney, has made a concerted effort to show his toughness on the immigration issue, memorably announcing that he does not support the Dream Act, a bill that would provide a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrant's children who attend college or serve in the military.
That position ain't going to help attract more Latino votes. Not unless you disbelieve that same Pew Hispanic Center poll that reports that 88 percent of Latino registered voters nationwide support the DREAM Act.
But RNC Chair Priebus blasted President Obama as "hypocrite in chief," because, with a Democratic House and Senate at the end of 2010, he still couldn't pass the Dream Act (not that Priebus had an opinion whether it was a good piece of legislation or not). "When it comes to the Dream Act, the president has sold them (Latinos) a bill of goods," he said with relish.
When she was asked specifically about the Dream Act, Bettina Inclan deferred, saying the candidates are talking about their policies, and her charge with the RNC is to get the word out on economic opportunities.
Even with his falling numbers, the Pew poll showed that in a hypothetical match-up against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama wins 68% to 23% among Latino registered voters.