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Will Obama Win the Votes of Disenchanted Hispanic Voters?

By May 1, 2012

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Hispanic voters, the fastest-growing demographic group per the 2010 Census, will play a decisive role in the 2012 presidential election. That is, if they don't stay away from the polls due to:
  • Disappointment with President Obama's lack of political courage or action on long-promised reform of U.S. immigration regulations, or
  • Intimidating new restrictive voter ID laws "enacted since the 2008 election may cause more than 5 million eligible voters to find it significantly harder or even impossible to cast ballots."

Citizens of Hispanic heritage comprise a huge, and hugely influential, portion of the population in five of the 14 battleground states:

Hispanic-Americans are also a sizable minority in battleground states North Carolina (8.4%) and Virginia (7.9%).

Which explains why Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villlaraigosa is Chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention which will nominate Barack Obama to a second term in the White House...

Which explains why President Obama has traveled to Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona many, many times since the 2010 elections...

Which explains why, in late April, the Obama reelection campaign spent "about $145,000 on broadcast advertising aimed at Hispanics... according to data from the media tracking firm SMG Delta. The ads are running in Florida, Colorado and Nevada"...

Which explains why Obama campaign spokeswoman Gabriela Domenzain responded forcefully and quickly to Republican Mitt Romney's remarks two weeks ago that "The Obama administration has brought hard times to Hispanics in America. Under President Obama, more Hispanics have struggled to find work than at any other time on record"... Rebutted Ms. Domenzain:

"Once again Mitt Romney is not telling the truth about the President's record and it's no surprise why. He is not only on the wrong side of every Hispanic voter priority, but also Hispanics stand to lose the most from Romney's insistence on the same failed economic policies that created the economic crisis, including his plans to give massive tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires at the expensive of economic growth and the middle class, allow Wall Street write its own rules again, and even let foreclosures 'hit the bottom.'

"President Obama believes we should grow our economy and create jobs that reward hard work and responsibility, and we are seeing results. Under the President's leadership, we've seen 25 straight months of private-sector job growth, 2 million Hispanics have been kept out of poverty, taxes on small businesses have been cut 18 times and Hispanic unemployment has declined 2.1%."

In 2008, Hispanic votes in New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and Florida caused Democrat Barack Obama to win those often-Republican states, all which voted to reelect President Bush in 2004. As a direct result, Obama won the 2008 White House race. (See Why Red States Turned Blue in 2008 for details.)

In 2010, Democrat Jerry Brown decisively won California's gubernatorial race over long-time Romney advisor and close business-community colleague, Republican billionaire Meg Whitman, because Brown attracted 63% of the Hispanic vote. In California, 37.6% of residents have Hispanic ancestors.

But in 2008, Barack Obama's soaring, bright promises of immigration reform energized Hispanics to support Obama over McCain by a margin of 67% to 21%. (See Obama Campaign Promises: Immigration Reform.) In 2012, those promises remain almost entirely unfulfilled.

And in 2010, Jerry Brown won Hispanic votes primarily because of his deep, decades-long record of actively supporting and caring about the needs of that community. President Obama has no similar track record.

Hispanics will, indeed, play a decisive role in the 2012 presidential election. But will it be by voting in droves for President Obama? By the Hispanic community believing in Mitt Romney's conservative-leaning economic prosperity agenda?

Or will it be by staying home... uninspired, disenchanted, unenergized, and fuming over feeling used in 2008, then forgotten by the White House?

My guess is that because of Republican Romney's unusually tough, inflexible rhetoric on immigration reform (self deportation?), Hispanic voters will turn-out to cast a very large majority of their ballots for President Obama in November.

But they will do so reluctantly. And they will rightfully expect Mr. Obama to firmly push the DREAM Act and other immigration reform measures with the new 113th Congress.


May 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm
(1) Stewart says:

The democrats are basically spineless when it comes to getting stuff done. They’ll suceed only if it were an easy task. Another issue is that the democrats are never all on the same page ever and so we have what we have going on. Yeah, they care yet don’t fully care at the same time. They had the super-majority for two years and should have got their promises taken care. They basically thrive of the all talk and no action stratergy. Two years is ample enough time to get your own party to agree and get things passed.

Their senators are scared about re-election, so what really is different now by not passing those bills ? All the same they are and will still struggle with their re-election anyways. A classic example is Obama’s struggle to get re-elected inspite of having much weaker republican contenders. Had he kept his promise, it wouldn’t have been that difficult for him the second time around. Besides registering all the illegals would sort have got things into better order for the american people to see that immigration reform is very important to our future growth and wellbeing.

Cut the politics and get to work for the people who slog so that you receive your pay checks.

May 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm
(2) kenneth says:

I am latino and it is funy to see both sides playing the fools for noone has really been convincing for us.
I really think that we are ready for a third option

May 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm
(3) Birdiemama says:

When I read always or never or a “diagnosis” of a political party, further words of someone’s opinion are immediately discounted. I agree that President Obama let down many Americans during his first two years, mainly from believing Baner and others in Congress cared about the American people. I believe now that the Democratic party and the President know that the Republicans only have their own economic interests at heart. They don’t care about women, children, the poor, the hungry, the foreclosures, or the middle class. If you go to the Progressive Democrats of America website, you will see well-researched information to update your attitude regarding the President and the Democrats. So do some research on what is happening on all the listed problems by the DPA and then go to work.

May 27, 2012 at 7:54 pm
(4) afrommi says:

As an America with Latino descent, I find that PBO has been doing the best when it comes to immigration. I think if we want to be treated better that the natives Americans or better than the real Americans we have to leave behind the “my people” attitude and treat this country as our own. Most of us have other countries to call our own. But we must realize that if we want to be treated as Americans, then accept that The USA is the only country Americans have. We must treat this country that has open their doors and has welcomed us, as Americans. When my family emigrated here, they said, America is only for the Americans. Which means, we ARE AMERICANS, we cannot have the same feeling for the “other country”. We became Americans at the minute we decided to emigrate. We are a melting pot but some are refusing to melt and yet want Americans to treat us like Americans when we are still calling the other country “my country” and the other people “my people”.

If we want to be Americans then lets be Americans and treat all Americans without prejudices and without favoritism. It has been my experience that some Latinos have already prejudices about other Latinos. In these are included in the music, their speech and their demeanor toward each other. This just means that we are refusing to melt.

Just ask yourselves, are we refusing to learn English? Do we look at other Americans with disdain? Are we Latinos or Americans?

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