Republican Candidates Woo Latino Voters

Republican Presidential campaigns are solidifying their strategy to connect with Latino voters, the nation’s largest growing demographic and a critical swing vote in battle ground states. The diverse group of voters is a must win for both political parties in order to claim victory in November 2012, given the break down of the electoral map.

Recently, the Obama team described possible paths to victory for the incumbent President, explaining how he can win the 270 electoral votes necessary to secure a second term. Four out of the Five paths rely heavily on support from the Latino community. Republicans are hoping to change that equation with renewed efforts to improve the Party’s image with the Hispanic electorate.

In a recent interview with AFP the GOP campaigns discussed the Latino vote and how they plan to win over Hispanic voters.  Given the failing economy and overall Latino disapproval of President Barack Obama many Republicans are mapping out their own path to victory with the Latino vote.

“We realize that Hispanics are an important part of both the primary process and the general election process,” said Ryan Williams, a spokesman for the campaign of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

“We’re committed to reaching out to them and discussing Governor Romney’s messages on jobs and economy,” he added.

More than 60 percent of US Hispanics are of Mexican origin or descent, with other large communities from Central American nations, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

Increasingly more have come from South American nations like Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. Because the group is so diverse — with different social, linguistic, religious and economic priorities linked only by Spanish colonial cultural ties — it is hard to target as an electoral force…

…Gingrich, in an address in New York state this month, said “my basic approach is first of all the economy: the Latino community is very hard-working, they take care of their families.”

“Gingrich really understands that Latinos think for ourselves. It’s the same thing (Republican president Ronald) Reagan used to say: that Hispanics were Republican and just didn’t know it yet,” joked Sylvia Garcia, Gingrich’s National Hispanic Inclusion Director.”

Read more of Jordi Zamora’s AFP article: “Republicans bid to overhaul image, woo Hispanics

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