Certainly Rand Paul realizes that backing immigration reform is only a first step to winning over Hispanic voters. But what would that next step be, exactly? National Journal’s Matthew Cooper doubts Hispanics will have much interest in Rand Paul’s “pinched libertarian vision of Washington’s responsibilities.” At least that’s what the polling data strongly suggests:
The Pew Research Center notes, “Latinos have often been characterized as more socially conservative than most Americans. On some issues, such as abortion, that’s true. But on others, such as acceptance of homosexuality, it is not. When it comes to their own assessments of their political views, Latinos, more so than the general public, say their views are liberal.” It’s telling that when asked if they backed President Obama’s position that “health insurance organizations should be required to cover contraception,” 68 percent of Hispanics said yes; only 11 percent said no.
But it’s on the question of big government that Hispanics stand most solidly with Democrats. The 2011 Pew Hispanic Center survey asked Latinos whether they would “pay higher taxes to support a larger government or pay lower taxes and have a smaller government”? Hispanics backed higher taxes and more government by 75 percent to 19 percent. For the population as a whole, 48 percent favored smaller government to 41 percent wanting big government.
That “vision” to which Cooper refers can be seen in Paul’s 2013 budget plan, which would balance the budget in five years.