News Round-Up: Immigration & Romney, Boycotting Univision

In case you missed it….a quick round-up of top headlines focusing on Hispanics and the GOP:

Great piece with lots of juicy stats on Hispanics and the Latino electorate: “…Hispanics represent about 9% or 10% of the electorate, but in key states can make up 12% to 16% of voters, and as much as 35% of the voting population. And they’re not as interested in the immigration issue as politicians appear to believe they are.

“They’re more interested in the economy, jobs, education, government waste and higher taxes,” Mr. Mellman said. “Language is also important. A large percentage of the swing voters — one-third or more — is Spanish dominant. A relatively small group only watches English-language media, and even they think it’s important to advertise on Spanish-language media. They say that’s a sign of respect for their community.”

Reacting to the accelerated GOP Primary calendar, the Nevada caucuses may move up to January, getting ahead of Florida. Nevada has a growing Latino population, and estimated 14% of eligible Nevada voters are Hispanic: “Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Georgia businessman Herman Cain have been working Nevada for months in advance of the caucuses. They’ve hired campaign staffs, opened offices and assembled networks of volunteers. The other candidates are starting to follow, mindful of the huge fundraising and popularity bump that comes with winning one of the three states that kick off the voting.”

Top Florida Hispanic Republicans are calling on the national GOP and their party’s presidential candidates to boycott a proposed Univision debate amid allegations that Spanish-language television network Univision tried to “extort” Sen. Marco Rubio. The GOP leaders sent this open letter to the Republican National Committee. READ MORE.

Many Latino Republicans are growing nervous on Romney’s strong push on immigration. While an “effective” wedge issue in a GOP primary, it can spell disaster in the general election and a lost opportunity for Republicans with Hispanics. Politico reports: “But the tactic is not without risk, and some strategists — and even some Romney supporters — are beginning to worry that he could damage himself as a general election candidate with the fastest-growing population of voters who are up for grabs: Hispanics.

“Mitt Romney has definitely adopted [a hostile] tone, and needlessly,” said Ana Navarro, the national Hispanic chairperson of Jon Huntsman’s campaign who served the same role on John McCain’s 2008 campaign. “Barack Obama’s basic vulnerability was that he made Latinos a promise on immigration that he has not delivered and Latinos remembered,” she added, referring to the president’s pledge for immigration reform. “We have a unique opportunity to capitalize on a broken promise to the Latino community, and instead of capitalizing on that, we are fighting over who is tougher and meaner and stricter when it comes to immigration. We’re completely missing the boat.”

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