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Looks like Bonilla lost because of Latino backlash

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Lots of head-scratching among the punditry today about the upset victory of Ciro Rodriquez over incumbent Republican Henry Bonilla. Hotline reports that Bonilla's loss yesterday could be tied to his vehemently anti-immigrant positions. The GOP decided to make immigrants, primarily Mexicans, their group to bash this year. They've paid the price and hopefully that will cost the GOP for years to come:

Rep. Henry Bonilla’s (R-TX 23) loss last night confirms one of the Bush administration’s greatest fears: that a hard-line position on illegal immigration could cause Republicans long-term damage among the growing Latino vote.

Bonilla was a strong supporter of the tough-on-immigration measures sponsored by the Republicans. He voted for the construction of the 700-mile border fence, and supported Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s bill penalizing workers who hire illegal immigrants.

Based on the election results, it appears Latino voters – even among his previous supporters – turned on him and supported ex-Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D). In Maverick County (95% Hispanic), Bonilla won a miniscule 14% of the vote. By contrast, Bonilla carried the county in his comfortable 2004 win, and President Bush even performed respectably here in 2004 when he won 40%.
The GOP decided to follow the immigrant-bashing strategy of "Tex" Sensenbrenner. The Republicans can only demonize and beat up on people for so long before they fight back. Of course, that doesn't help explain why one in four gay people vote Republican.

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