By Mark Krikorian on November 11, 2008

I get bored with this biennial ritual, but the raza-hustlers and the open-borders crowd are back touting the awesome power of the Hispanic vote. AP's contribution yesterday: "In key states, Latino vote fueled Obama's victory." A bunch of these interchangeable groups is having a press conference today in D.C., announcing that "Our voice was heard at the polls, and we will continue to make sure our voices are heard."

Well, no.

According to the usual suspects, the benchmark in garnering Hispanic votes for Republicans is Bush's 40 percent showing in 2004. So what would have happened if McCain had matched Bush's performance, instead of the 31 percent he actually got? Based on CNN's exit polls, McCain still would have lost Nevada, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, not to mention, say, California and New Jersey. Conversely, even if Obama had won 90 percent of the Hispanic vote in Texas, instead of 63 percent, he still would have lost the state. With the possible exception of North Carolina, where the results were close but the number of Hispanic voters is too small to register in the exit poll, there doesn't seem to be a single state where the Hispanic vote was critical to the outcome.

Of course Republicans should reach out to all voters, and there are both political and policy reasons to combine a pro-immigrant element with the message of better enforcement and more moderate levels of future immigration. But it's electoral madness for the GOP to sell its birthright for a very, very small mess of pottage. Hispanics are going to vote mostly Democratic until a generation or two after an immigration cutoff — there's simply no way around that. And small increases in the much larger white and black votes would swamp any changes in the Hispanic vote.

And the idea of "natural conservatives" is truly bizarre when you look at the marriage amendment vote in California. Hispanics voted about the same as whites and Asians, splitting roughly evenly. But I don't recall anyone pointing to the 70 percent vote by blacks for Prop. 8 as proof that they're "natural conservatives."

Not to mention that "exit polling is becoming less reliable each election."