In a recent television interview, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) stated that the “vast majority” of immigrants in his district would be Republicans if they weren’t playing identity politics.
Coffman offered his opinion of the immigrants in his district to the conservative director of the Independence Institute, Jon Caldara, on his Devil’s Advocate television show July:
COFFMAN: Oh, they tend to be more faith-based than the average American — that their faith, their – whether it’s a temple or it’s a church or it’s a mosque – tends to be the center of their community, the center of their life. They do tend to be hard-working. They’re, you know, very aspirational to the American — for the American dream — and believe strongly in the education of their children.
CALDARA: So if they were not playing identity politics, would they be Republicans?
COFFMAN: Absolutely. I mean, I think the vast majority would. And that’s what is so strange about this particular equation. But it creates a great opportunity for me.
Robert Loevy, a professor of Political Science at Colorado College, said immigrants identify with Democrats for multiple reasons.
“In politics, it is difficult to make an assumption like that,” said Loevy when asked to comment on Coffman’s assertion about identity politics. “Aside from identity, there are many other important factors at play within politics. Immigrants are more likely to side with Democrats due to the fact that they are perceived as being more accepting of many different identities and types of people.
He added that Democrats “defend Medicaid, which is also attractive to immigrants.”
Coffman represents Colorado’s 6th congressional district (which includes parts of Denver, Aurora, Littleton, Aurora, Henderson and Brighton), serving since 2009. He previously served as the Secretary of State of Colorado and as Colorado State Treasurer.