Nate Hochman of National Review Online writes about the Republican Party’s efforts to court Latino voters.

The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) is a 91.5 percent Latino, traditionally Democratic region on the Texas-Mexico border that has shifted heavily toward Republicans in recent years, and it feels like a political battleground. The air hums with campaign energy. It’s “very, very competitive right now,” an older Latina woman at a local Republican phone-banking session tells me gravely. “I mean, the blue are very afraid of us doing the red tidal wave.”

Can Republicans keep — or even expand — their newfound voters in regions such as South Texas? As the 2020 election-night results began to pour in, and the GOP’s inroads with Latinos became evident, Republicans were quick to trumpet the emergence of a new, multiracial, working-class GOP.  …

… But the GOP has a ways to go in courting Hispanics, and it remains to be seen whether 2020 — when all four counties in the RGV swung toward Trump by double-digit margins — was a bellwether or a fluke. The GOP’s share of the national Latino vote has seesawed between 20 and 40 percent over the course of the past half-century, with the party appearing poised, at certain junctures, to become the “multi-ethnic multi-racial coalition” that Rubio foresaw, only to lose ground again in subsequent years. Ronald Reagan won 35 and 37 percent, respectively, in 1980 and 1984; George H. W. Bush won 30 percent in 1988 and 25 percent in 1992; Bob Dole shot down to just 21 percent in 1996. Bush Jr. won 35 percent in 2000 — losing the Hispanic vote in his home state of Texas to Al Gore, 42 to 54 percent — and by anywhere between 33 and 44 percent, depending on the exit poll, in 2004. John McCain won 31 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2008, Mitt Romney won 27 percent in 2012, and Donald Trump won 28 percent in 2016 and 38 percent in 2020.