Pundits left and right have embraced the notion that the Republican Party has a strong political interest in passing comprehensive immigration reform. As the argument goes, the GOP lost a good shot at the presidency in 2012 because of a pro-Obama shift among Latino voters, which itself was a reaction to the GOP’s increasingly anti-immigration stance.
There is circumstantial evidence backing that view. According to exit polls, the share of Latino voters supporting the GOP candidate dropped from approximately 40 percent in 2004 to 27 percent in 2012. An election eve phone survey by Latino Decisions in 2012 put Mitt Romney’s share even lower, at 23 percent.