GOP hopes for better ties with Hispanics, blacks


WASHINGTON (AP) - The Republican Party's problems with minority voters might persist or even worsen. But an opening for significant improvements in GOP-minority relations may be at hand.

If Republican lawmakers allow far-reaching immigration changes to become law, then the contentious issue might fade from political headlines, and that might ease anti-Republican feelings among some Hispanics.

And if Republicans nominate a Hispanic such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for president in 2016, it's possible that millions of Hispanic voters would back him.

At the same time, black voters might be less excited about the next Democratic presidential nominee than they were about the barrier-breaking Barack Obama.

Some strategists think it's just as likely that Republicans will worsen their standing among minorities. That's especially true if House Republicans block a far-reaching immigration law rewrite.

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