- 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:
- In Nevada, Hispanics are 26.5% of state population
- In Colorado, 20.7%
- In Arizona, 29.6%
- In Florida, 22.5%
- In New Mexico, 46.3%
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.