The Pew Hispanic Center reports that between July 2006 and October 2006 Hispanic voters went from 49/28 Dem-Republican to 57/23--a net Democratic gain of 13 points. In an excellent bit of 'comes-at-a-time'-ism, Pew attributes the shift to Republican anti-comprehensivism:
This U-turn in Hispanic partisan allegiance trends comes at a time when the issue of illegal immigration has become an intense focus of national attention and debate
HuffPo's normally sophisticated Thomas Edsall makes the argument less 501-c-3-ishly: "GOP Driving Hispanics Away with Anti-Immigrant Push." The problem, of course, is that the Pew Center doesn't tell us how many points the Democrats gained among non-Hispanic voters, or all voters generally. These were not good months for the GOP.
I'm perfectly willing to believe that the immigration debate has hurt the GOP among Hispanics, but without any sort of control group it's impossible to tell how much. (Gallup, for example, has the Republicans losing about 5 points among all voters over the same period--suggesting that the real Hispanic immigration backlash amounted to 8 points net, not 13.) ...
P.S.: What are the chances that the Pew Hispanic Center is going to conclude that Hispanics are not important or distinctive--they're really just like everyone else and really not worth studying much? I'd say close to zero. The study would be more credible if it came from the Pew Hellenic Center. ... 3:32 P.M. link
Personally, I've found the Pew Hispanic Center to be one of the more objective and useful sources on immigration, a topic where ignorance, lies, and wishful thinking are the norm. Robert Suro and the others at the Pew Hispanic Center are willing to publicly state, for example, that the Hispanic vote isn't as big or powerful as the media typically assume. This is "testimony against interest," because clearly the "Pew Hispanic Center" would become wealthier and more influential the more people believe Hispanics are electorally powerful, so it's particularly credible. The Pew people, to their credit, have always resisted the unspoken assumption common in the media that one Hispanic's vote somehow counts for more than one non-Hispanic's vote.
I often cite Pew Hispanic Center research. For example, here's something I wrote in VDARE.com last August:
And now the Pew Hispanic Center has crunched the Census Bureau's numbers for 2006 and discovered that the total Latino share of the vote last year fell—to 5.8 percent [from 6.0 percent in 2004]. According to Pew:
"while Latinos represented nearly half the total population growth in the
between 2002 and 2006, the Latino share among all new eligible voters was just 20%. By comparison, whites accounted for 24% of the population growth and 47% of all eligible new voters." U.S.
Overall, whites cast almost twelve ballots for every one ballot cast by a Hispanic.
So, let's give some respect to the Pew Hispanic Center. They're not perfect but they're a lot fairer than they would have to be. Indeed, they'd probably get more media attention if they catered more to the conventional wisdom about the purported Latino Electoral Tidal Wave, rather than pop balloons about it as did their report last summer entitled "The Latino Electorate: A Widening Gap between Voters and the Larger Hispanic Population in the
So, the answer to this question is that, yes, the GOP may have lost 3 or 4 points among Hispanics on 2006 due to resistance to amnesty, but the size of the Hispanic vote is so small, that it's insignificant -- 5.8% times 4% = 0.23% -- compared to picking up votes (or at least not losing them) among the other 94% of the population.