carly fiorina education
Carly Fiorina rose in national GOP polls after a strong showing in a Fox News debate for candidates who didn’t make it into the top ten. That success has brought her into the spotlight, drawing criticism from Latino pundits who point to her support for a controversial Arizona immigration law, and opposition. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

If Republicans want to attract the Latino vote, Carly Fiorina won’t be their first choice candidate. While she has not rhetorically carpet-bombed Latinos like GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, her campaign record and political positions don’t lend themselves to a Latino voter drive. The former Hewlett Packard CEO has a compelling personal story, climbing the ladder to success from a secretary in a male-dominated business world. So far her presidential campaign has been a moderate success, digging her out of total obscurity to just above the margin of error .

But after she was fired from HP and turned to politics, Fiorina never succeeded in courting the Latino vote. We can think of six strong reasons why she would fail to win the Latino vote in the future, be it in the GOP primary or the general election.

1) Latinos voted for Fiorina’s opponents in the past. Fiorina failed to win a California Senate race in 2010, and wasn’t just because of the evil sheep video. She won 29 percent of the Latino vote , more than Mitt Romney did against Barack Obama in 2012, but far less than the 40 or so percent that GOP strategists say a Republican nominee will need to win the general election.

2) Fiorina supports SB 1070. Opponents of the controversial Arizona immigration law say that it will lead to racial profiling -- not against whites, blacks or Asians -- but Latinos and Spanish-speakers who can hypothetically be detained on suspicion of being an immigrant in the country illegally.

Only 29 percent of Arizona Hispanics approved of the law, exactly the same percentage of California voters with Hispanic heritage that voted for Fiorina. Fifty-one percent of Arizona Hispanics strongly opposed the law, and 71 percent of all resident agreed that it would lead to harassment .

3) Poor voting record. Latinos have a voting problem. Just 50 percent of eligible Latino voters cast a ballot in 2012, compared to around 65 percent of eligible African-Americans and non-Hispanic whites.

Not voting is probably the one thing Fiorina has most in common with Latinos; she voted in only 14 of six elections held while she lived in California, and exactly zero of the elections held in the decade she lived in New Jersey, CBS reported . That’s not exactly the most inspiring force in a get-out-the-vote effort.

4) Opposes a pathway to citizenship. Immigration isn’t the the only issue that Latinos care about. It’s not even the issue that they care about the most, according to a July Univision poll. But 54 percent say that they would be more likely to support a candidate who supports a pathway to citizenship, while only 11 percent say they would be more likely to support a candidate like Fiorina because of her position.

For the millions of mixed-status immigrant families, many of whom are Mexican and Central America, the immigration issue is a rallying cry that Democrats can capitalize on if the GOP nominee falls into an extreme right position.

5) Education and healthcare are more important to Latino voters than immigration. But Fiorina faces the same problem that many Republicans do: she opposes the Affordable Care Act, which has led to a huge increase in the rate of insured Latinos.

For the most important Latino issue, Fiorina hasn’t gotten her views into the mainstream. Unlike Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, education isn’t high on Fiorina’s platform. She did attend an education summit before her surge. You can watch a video of her remarks below.

6) Puerto Rico. Fiorina hasn’t made any high-profile statements about the island territory’s financial crisis, alienating the crucial Boriqua vote in Florida. What’s more, she’s reportedly taken large donations from “vulture” hedge funds with investments at stake in the debt crisis.

There are a few silver linings for Fiorina’s campaign managers. She did support the Dream act. She has won some conservative Hispanic endorsements in the past. And if Trump’s run has shown us anything it is that new or modified positions can vault candidates up in the polls.

For example, Fiorina could court Latinos more effectively if she presented a radically interesting education program, or at least stop pissing them off by withdrawing support for SB 1070. That being said, it’s hard to imagine Fiorina winning Latino support in the Republican party, especially with Rubio and Bush in the race.

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