Dems Hitting The Panic Button Over Losing Latinos

Latino families have been hit the hardest by the recession, suffering the largest single decline in wealth of any ethnic and racial group in the U.S.A., according to new Pew Foundation study reported by The NY Times.

The news should make the Obama campaign even more nervous about their hopes of victory in 2012. Hispanic voters are already dissatisfied with the current administration. More bad news will only make the relationship worse.

A recent Gallup Poll found Latino support for President Obama has dipped to 52%, a drop of 30 points since December 2009. Over a third of his 2008 supporters said they will not vote for Obama again.

The DNC and the Obama White House has frantically been trying to mend the relationship with Hispanic voters by hosting events, running Spanish-language ads and giving speeches. This week, President Obama addressed The National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Latino advocacy group.

The Daily Caller ask the question: “Are Dems worried about losing Latinos?”. My answer is “yes.”

After being chided a week before by the[NCLR’s] leader, the President offered hints of support for immigration reform, but was clear about one thing: “The Democrats and your president are with you, don’t get confused about that.”

That statement is reminiscent of the new DNC ad, which will run in the major cities of battleground states featuring significant Latino populations. And Obama’s self-assured sentiment was echoed by Colorado Democratic Party Chair Rick Palacio, who said during a Friday press conference promoting the new Spanish-language ad: “Hispanics’ priorities are not Republican priorities.”

Apart from the GOP, there is another group that may disagree with the confident statements of Democrats: Latino voters themselves.

“The DNC leadership and their spokespeople can say whatever they want about Latinos but the reality is Latino organizations are not happy with Obama,” Bettina Inclan, a Republican political strategist who blogs extensively on conservative Latino issues, told The Daily Caller. “You have the National Council of La Raza saying that Democrats have to woo Latinos more because they realize the broken promises and the horrible economy they’re facing. … I think these political people have to take their head out of the sand and realize what’s going on and the reality is that, the Hispanic vote, the Latino vote, is up for grabs.”

Columnist Ruben Navarrette explains more in “Obama must face up to an awful record on Latinos.”

While Latino voters have swayed toward the Democrat Party, each year more Latinos register Independent, a clear sign that Hispanic voters aren’t married to any political party. In 2012 that political courtship will be even more intense.

Republican groups are showing they are up to the challenge. Already GOP groups are investing in Spanish-language ads and Latino candidate recruitment.

No matter how you look at it – the failed economy, the current debt battle,  broken promises and a weak record on Latinos issues,  the incumbent President has an uphill battle with Latinos, and all voters, in 2012.


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