Latino Vote 2012: Hispanic Voters on the Fence on Obama

Daily Caller’s Neil Munro takes a look at President Obama’s challenge in recapturing the Latino vote in 2012 in “Hispanic Voters On the Fence”.

Barack Obama won the Hispanic vote in 2008 by a 67-31 margin, mostly by focusing resources on the Latino community, promising Hispanics a better economic future under his new administration and pledging action on immigration reform. Yet, two years later he has yet to fulfill his promises to Latinos. Support for President Obama among Hispanics has plummeted in the last several months, as low as 47% this year.

Read more at the Daily Caller:

“I don’t know how Obama wins without winning a massive majority of the [Hispanic] vote again,” said Bettina Inclan, a New York-based GOP consultant who works with Hispanic voters in California and Florida.

Recent polls show Obama’s declining support in the Hispanic community, down to the mid-50s, she said. That “pretty bad for Obama, so the White House has noticed and we’ve seen a ramp-up in the effort by the White House to show [Hispanic voters] ‘I have not forgotten you,’” she said.

Hispanics are primarily worried about the economy and jobs, but Obama may try to boost registration, turnout and his percentage of the votes by advertising his support for some form of amnesty, despite having failed to pass an immigration laws since he gained power, she said. It would be hard sell, because his pitch would be “‘trust me, this time, I’ll come through,’” she said.

“Republicans can counter this outreach to Hispanics by simultaneously offering a good economic message and by showing respect towards Hispanics, Inclan said. “I don’t believe in amnesty, and there’s probably a very large number of Hispanics that agree with me,” she said. But, “more than anything else, people don’t like [disrespectful] rhetoric about immigration, and that’s what gets them upset,” she said…

GOP candidates around the country have successfully managed the immigration issue, Inclan said. In 2010, GOP Hispanics won the Florida Senate seat and governor’s jobs in new Mexico and Nevada, Inclan said. “They had positions on immigration, but they talked about jobs and economy,” she said. Also, Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich and other GOP presidential aspirants have a good record in reaching out to Hispanic voters, she said. Hispanic voters “want to feel that you care about them, that you care about what they say… and that their children lives will be okay,” she said.

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2 Comments

  1. Re :“want to feel that you care about them, that you care about what they say..”

    What nonsnese. It’s like you’re talking about children. What Latino voters want to see are POLICIES that improve the economy and solve the immigration issue.

  2. Karen,

    I agree with you that what Hispanic/Latinos care about most are policies that improve on the economy. This statement was made clearly in the Daily Caller article when I was quoted saying:

    “Hispanics are primarily worried about the economy and jobs…”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/07/hispanic-voters-on-the-fence/#ixzz1Ly71yBf8

    Proposing strong economic plans is an issue that has helped many candidates, like Rick Scott who won the Governor’s race in Florida with the majority support from Florida’s Latinos. Scott campaigned on his 7-7-7 jobs and economic plan. (I worked on the Rick Scott race.)

    Yet, no political operation can ignore the reality that the majority of Latinos feel both parties are failing to connect with Hispanic voters. This is demonstrated by the lower then average voter participation in the Hispanic community. Pew Hispanic Center recently did a study on this, which I highlighted in this blog,. The study – “The Latino Electorate in 2010: More Voters, More Non-Voters.” – states that “In 2010, 16.3% of the nation’s population was Latino, but only 10.1% of eligible voters and fewer than 7% of voters were Latino.”

    This Pew Hispanic study provides a snapshot of the Latino community that is civically disenfranchised by choice because they don’t see what participating in the voting process does for them.

    In addition, according to a recent poll by Impremedia/Latino Decisions it said that one-third of Latino registered voters believe that neither of the two major political parties in the United States is concerned about reaching them and many are undecided about whom to vote for in the 2012 presidential elections.

    All of this points to one direction, both Parties need to do a better job reaching out to Latinos and Latinos have to become more politically involved.

    Hispanics are a diverse community. They are not a monolithic voting block. The Latino community changes in state to state and city to city. Yet, as a voting block, Latinos remain a swing vote, still looking for a candidate and a Party that cares enough to make a real effort in connecting with their community…

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