As far as how Americans voted in 2012:
- The numbers came down to about 93 to 98 percent Blacks voting Democratic, which is as close to absolutely everyone in that bloc. Given how the Republican Party is staging itself for 2016 - with voter suppression efforts and platform issues that would anger Blacks - there's little chance of the GOP breaking the Democratic monopoly on that bloc.
- There were about 70 percent give or take for Asians voting Democratic. Of the ethnic groups, there's a shot Republicans could win more Asian voters their way, except for the fact Asians have a pro-immigrant stance that might be repelled by the harsh anti-immigrant stance the GOP is sticking with (again). There are individual nationalities - Indian, Japanese, Chinese - that may as a group lean one party or another, but for now there's no singular issue that can divide this bloc.
- Hispanics/Latinos were around 70 to 71 percent voting Democratic. Culturally, this is an ethnic group that's incredibly diverse yet sharing common enough points to be a unified bloc. A lot of that is due to La Raza, a sense of community/family that highlights a religious-conservative bent... and yet a social-liberal one at the same time.
Hispanic voters are a key ingredient on the national level for Republicans. Without enough of them to merge with the GOP voter base of Whites, Republicans can't see any good shot at the White House. Dubya secured 44 percent of the Latino vote in 2004, which helped him win. Romney secured 27 percent of the Latino vote and lost the popular vote - and a solid number of Hispanic-heavy states - by five points.
So here we are facing 2016. Here's a Republican Party whose anti-immigration stance has already alienated a sizable portion of Hispanic voters to begin with. And here comes Donald Trump insulting the sh-t out of Mexicans and talking about building a super-wall along the border (and forcing Mexico to pay for it).
Even with Trump boasting he'll win the Latino vote - which is so ludicrous I'm seeing conservative blogs choke on it - how can any sane, self-respecting Hispanic-American accept this guy? There's a reason a lot of businesses are dumping Trump, and it all has to do with the fact he's insulting a growing and powerful voting (and economic) bloc.
If Trump really does secure the Republican nomination - and despite all hand-waving to the contrary by the experts, Trump is polling too well with an overly angry and fear-induced wingnut base that can dominate the primaries - just how bad is it gonna be for Republicans in dire need of Latino voters?
You can immediately take that 27 percent that voted for Mitt in 2012 and reduce it to ONE percent within a five percent range for statistical error. There were 11.2 million Latinos who voted in 2012: give standard population growth or voter interest to go up a little, let's say to 13 million. Let's be generous and give Trump five percent Hispanic voters (as per the statistical range). Multiply 13,000,000 to .05 and you get 650,000 voters, less than a million. At least Mitt got 3-plus million.
Because despite Trump's assertion, he has so openly and brazenly insulted Latinos - Mexicans in particular, but essentially every nationality from south of the border has to be offended - that there is no way he can win over that voting bloc. Whatever promises Trump thinks he could make by the general election cycle - he seems to think he can offer a no-details "jobs" package - he's already violated the KEY rule - hi, Machiavelli! - of winning the people's favor: he's made himself hated. Once they hate you, they will not and cannot forgive you.
The perfect example is the African-American voting bloc. Once the Republicans openly pursued their Southern Strategy, they began losing Black voters in droves. Going after social aid programs since the 1980s, massive voter suppression efforts geared at denying them access to the ballot since the 1990s, and then obstructing Obama since 2009: There's barely - maybe 5 percent - any Black Republicans left. All because the GOP made themselves hated by Blacks as an entire group.
Going full anti-Immigrant - and doing so in an insulting manner - is going to drive away Latinos (and a good number of Asians who are affected on the same issue) to the same level as Black voters. And there are not enough White voters - even though the overall population has Whites in a majority, we do not vote as solid a bloc as the other ethnics - who will cross over due to Trump's fear-mongering. He's already got the base he's pandering to: there is no way he is winning over pro-Immigration Whites or even White voters with a lick of common sense and common decency.
This is the reason the RNC chair has reportedly called Trump this afternoon to tell him to "tone it down" (likely in not as polite a tone either). The Republicans know they've lost the Black vote and have few illusions about breaking that bloc. There are utterly terrified - they have to be - if the Latino bloc rejects the GOP en masse at the same percentages that Blacks have. It would not only kill them in the Presidential election, it could well crush them in a dangerous Senate electoral cycle - there are 24 GOP-held seats up for grabs and a lot of them in Purple-Blue states - and even disrupt the gerrymandered control of the House and legislatures of certain Hispanic-heavy states.
Even if Trump loses the primaries or drops out, this is a bridge getting burned for the Republican Party: mostly because the Latinos have to be looking at the polling numbers go UP for Trump among the GOP primary likely voters, and they have to realize that this is what the Republican Party looks for in their leadership and messaging.
There are no sure things, obviously. The history and trends, however, all point to the GOP alienating another voter bloc. We need to see if there are updates to voter registration numbers: I'd love to see how many Hispanics are switching to No-Party or Democratic affiliation this past week alone...
Update: in Slate, Jamelle Bouie notes the Republican Party has a serious image problem with Latino voters already.
...In the past six years, GOP states have targeted Latinos for greater scrutiny, GOP officials have called for “self-deportation” of undocumented immigrants, and GOP presidential candidates have stood with nakedly anti-immigrant politicians. And although there are smart, reasoned arguments against comprehensive immigration reform and other permissive immigration policies, the rhetoric that counts—that resonates with actual Republican voters—comes from figures such as Iowa Rep. Steve King, who once warned that a path to citizenship would “destroy our republic.”
At this point, Latinos don’t just oppose particular candidates, such as Mitt Romney. They disdain the Republican label itself. According to a 2014 survey from the Pew Research Center, just 10 percent of Latinos say that the Republican Party “has concern” for their communities, compared with 50 percent who say as much about the Democratic Party. Few agree with Republicans on policy—especially immigration—and just 27 percent of Latinos identify with the Republican Party, compared with 63 percent who identify with Democrats. Not surprisingly, this has carried over to the 2016 GOP presidential field. As of October, notes Latino Decisions, just 32 percent of Latino voters would consider a vote for Jeb Bush, just 35 percent would consider a vote for Sen. Marco Rubio, and just 24 percent would consider a vote for Sen. Ted Cruz (Note: Jeb, Rubio and Cruz are the candidates who are tied to the Hispanic community by marriage or blood, and thus viewed as the more 'palatable' to appeal to that bloc).
So the Republicans are in trouble already. Trump is clearly not helping matters by stirring up the Far Right voting base - which ought to be the real concern here more than having an egomaniacal bankrupt con artist garner a primary lead - to expose just how fearful and hateful that primary voting base can get. Right now, 63 percent Latinos identify as Democrat. Just think how many will identify as Democrat if Trump wins the nomination on his platform of insult and debasement.