Green Room

Politico on the Latino vote: “Theatrics won’t woo Latinos”

posted at 11:58 am on July 20, 2011 by

IF (big “if”), if there is such a thing as a “Latino vote”, which I completely doubt, Alfonso Aguilar writing at Politico says Theatrics won’t woo Latinos

Can the administration’s Latino strategy work? Judging from the response from Latinos, I don’t think so. His trip to Puerto Rico was criticized for being too short and empty of substance. The most recent Gallup Poll shows Latino support for Obama plummeting to an average of 52 percent for June, down from 74 percent at the beginning of his term.

Latinos surely remember that President George W. Bush sent two top Cabinet members to the Hill in ’07 to negotiate an immigration reform plan with the Democratic leadership, not knowing if he had the necessary votes to pass it. Though Bush failed, they recognize he showed presidential leadership in trying to find a solution to this complex problem. Why can’t Obama do the same now?

With Puerto Rican voters in Florida, the strategy most likely won’t work either. They don’t care as much about immigration as other Latino groups. But like most Americans, Latinos are frustrated with the administration’s economic policies. They see unemployment stuck at about 9 percent, with Latino unemployment considerably higher, at roughly 12 percent. It’s going to take more than a trip to Puerto Rico to get their vote.

Obama had his chance. He raised the hopes of Latinos and then didn’t deliver.

This doesn’t mean that the majority of Latinos are going to vote Republican. But it does mean that many will consider voting for the Republican candidate. If the GOP nominee gets at least 40 percent of the Latino vote — and can win states like Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico — Obama could possibly be defeated in 2012.

Is there such a thing as a “Latino vote”, when you have millions of people from two dozen countries, many languages, every social/educational/cultural background, and every ethnicity known to mankind?

Cross-posted at Fausta’s blog

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