"Did Hispanics Save Harry Reid?" Newsweek's Arian Campo-Flores asked in a November 3 The Gaggle blog post.
Campo-Flores answered in the affirmative, noting that Reid enjoyed anywhere from 68 to 90 percent support from Hispanic voters, depending on the exit polling model:
According to election-eve polling and analysis by Latino Decisions, a surveying firm, Hispanics chose Reid over Angle 90 percent to 8 percent—an astounding margin. CNN’s exit polls showed a significantly smaller spread, with Reid winning 68 percent to Angle’s 30 percent. But Latino Decisions argues that exit-polling methodology is typically inaccurate at measuring voting by Hispanics and other subgroups.
Campo-Flores took the argument even further, hinting that Republicans could see long-term decline and Democrats long-term gains thanks to "disenchantment" from Latino voters thanks to the party's conservative stance on immigration:
One thing is clear: Hispanic disenchantment with Republicans continues to run deep. The Latino Decisions analysis found that Hispanics sided with Democrats over Republicans by 76 percent to 24 percent. Amid all the GOP high-fiving, that should be a sobering data point for Republicans—and an encouraging one for otherwise despondent Democrats.
Of course, Campo-Flores failed to delve into data that Latino Decisions had on some other prominent races which shows a more nuanced picture.
In the Southwest, three Republican governors candidates won election running on, among other things, a strong anti-illegal immigration platform.
Jan Brewer, Brian Sandoval, and Susana Martinez handily won election with 53.3, 54.8, and 53.5 percent of the electorate respectively. Among Hispanic voters, according to Latino Decisions, white female Brewer and Hispanic male Sandoval got a meager 14 and 15 percent of the Latino vote, respectively, while Martinez garnered 38 percent of her state's Latino voting population.
In Florida, a full 62 percent of Latinos voted for Marco Rubio. By contrast, a full 51 percent voted for governor-elect Rick Scott, outperforming his general election share of the vote (48.9%).
Of course, the media rarely paid any attention to Sandoval or Martinez and coverage of the Florida Senate race was often tied up in the risible media storyline that Rubio opponent Charlie Crist hadn't left the Republican Party, it had left him.
The right combination of a conservative message and compelling messenger are sufficient to win the general public and win a sizable plurality if not majority of Hispanic voters, just don't expect the liberal media to draw that lesson from the successes the GOP had running conservative Hispanics in the 2010 elections.