6 GOP Hispanics loosen Democrats’ grip on Hill

(Washington Times) As the newly elected Republican class of the 112th Congress gathers at the Capitol this week for freshmen orientation, the group boasts a record six Hispanics – loosening the Democratic Party’s long held grip on the nation’s fastest-growing minority group.

But whether the surge is a one-year anomaly or portends a future of Hispanic GOP pickups in the 2012 election remains to be seen.

“We’re watching this with interest to see whether it is the beginning of a trend,” said Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-leaning Washington think tank. “We know that out there there are a significant number of conservative Hispanics willing and eager to move up in the political world, so it’s not at all out of the question to me that we could see an upsurge.”

The midterm results don’t necessarily represent a sudden shift within the Hispanic community to the political right but rather a growing willingness by the general public to consider Hispanic candidates, said Patricia Guadalupe of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund.

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