Earlier Book by Leslie Sanchez on How to Communicate with Hispanic Voters is more relevant than ever

In 2007, some fifteen years ago, Leslie Sanchez published a book on why Hispanics and Republicans need each other, called “Los Republicanos1”.

Leslie Sanchez currently has a career focused on corporate marketing and political messaging and is currently a CBS commentator, among other things. She has also been offering advice to the Texas Latinos Conservatives PAC, as she believes strongly in our mission and how important messaging will be in the next election.

Her book, then, was way ahead of its time because it outlines how to campaign for the Hispanic vote and the book represents a written “code book” for a universal Hispanic strategy that can be used in any Conservative campaign. 

The following are selected quotes from her book that should make us all think more precisely in Hispanic campaigns:

  1. “We are now the largest minority group in America, but most Americans know almost nothing of where we came from. We started at the bottom rung of American society, but we are climbing fast.  We are rising in income and creating wealth.  We are starting new businesses in the U.S. at three times the rate of the general population.”
  2. “One thing is certain. We cannot be ignored.  By our size, our growth, and our geography. Hispanics will determine who becomes the next President.”
  3. “There is nothing more American than our entrepreneurial spirit, our ability to dream big dreams, and taking big risks. It is precisely this ideal and the prosperity it has engendered in the U.S. that has attracted millions of Latino immigrants in the last 30 years.  Republicans can draw Hispanics, if only they are smart enough to welcome their new neighbors.” 
  4. “Not only is the Latino vote winnable for the GOP, but the Party has shown demonstrable progress with Hispanics in the last decade – Latino vote is not a vote that Republicans can afford to right off.”
  5. “Although many Nativists complain that Mexicans will bring corruption into the United States, in fact, they are usually coming here precisely to escape that corruption. Economic incentives continue to attract a one-way traffic of workers, mostly Hispanics, into the United States.”
  6. “There are key things that make Hispanics different from the rest of the population. It is time to move away from just considering the use of Spanish and the process of acculturation as the primary way to define what it is to be Latino.  A recent study (Latino Identity Project) describes the Hispanic mindset as strong commitments to family and faith and the strong collective sense of community that they share.  A set of core values from the study of Latino lifestyles shows a ‘heart’ with four chambers, two of which show the conservative path.  Spirituality influences almost every aspect of Hispanic life and combines with the innate sense of business enterprise.  In 2007, there were 1.6 million Hispanic owned businesses in the U.S.  and Hispanics are building wealth in businesses and in home ownership.  These two chambers of the Latino ‘heart’, ie, spirituality and enterprise- is where the Republican Party has been most successful.”
  7. “The other two chambers of the Latino heart are the bond of family, which is protective   That chamber is aligned with a sense of community with an endless sea of friends, extended family, cousins, and god-parents. Democrats have used this path.  Hispanics have a collective sense as a  culture in which the goals and interests of the group are emphasized over those of individual members.”
  8. “As Latinos become faith-based voters and activists, they achieve greater economic success and achieve more of the political culture around them – now they should drawn to a Conservative Republican.”
  9. “Hispanics view welfare by 80% as a safety net, rather than a permanent source of income and that the American dream is real for them. About 55% are both married and own their own homes, which sounds like the Republican profile.”
  10. “The U.S. is home to more than 10 million Latino Protestants, and this is a big part of the new dynamic of the Hispanic vote.”
  11. “Hispanics tend to vote a lot like the people around them. Geography may sound like a superficial, accidental factor, but it is not.  Where the Hispanic lives has as much to do with their vote, even more than the family’s ethnic background.  Hispanics gradually adopt the culture around them.”
  12. “If Republicans make the case that their ideas help Latino families build wealth and financial security through businesses, homes, and investments – this will put a dagger into the Democratic myth of Democratic dependence.”
  13. “Hispanic voters already give Republicans higher marks than Democrats on the issue of national defense. While this issue is more national than local, the idea that Democratic actions make our nation less safe is a big part why Hispanic voters trust Republicans more on the issue of national security.  Republicans take a hard line on border security, as many Hispanics do.  But why not accompany that with some good will towards those who follow the rules?   Reach out to those legal Hispanic permanent residents by pushing for expedited naturalization and to those who are long-standing and good people but illegal, a legal non-voting residency. Positive outreach for sure.
  14. “If Republican campaigns can anticipate the Hispanic trends of Latino faith, enterprise and geography, and can bond to the values of family, they will establish a beautiful and long-lasting relationship. The Hispanic community is just waiting to be talked to, instead of being talked at or talked about.”
  15. “I have written this book on the belief that Republicans and Hispanics need one another in order to make America better. The Hispanic spirit of optimism and enterprise, of faith and family, is a spirit that fits nationally with the beliefs of a Reagan-type Republican.  As Latinos grow in political participation, we ask ourselves the tough question, “How hard are we willing to work for ideas that work for us?”

1 Sanchez, L. (2007). Los Republicanos (Macmillan) (235 pages, Chapters:  “A Changing America”, “The Latino Moment”, “The Emerging Republican Majority”, among others)

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