Hispanics will be Key in the 2012 Presidential Election

September 7, 2011 05:48

68 percent of Hispanics voted for Obama in 2008, only 39 percent said they will vote for his reelection next year

From The Americano

According to Fox News Latino: Latino Decisions surveyed 500 Hispanic registered voters between July 27 and Aug. 9, focusing on the 21 states with the largest Latino electorate.

The poll found that while 68 percent of Hispanics voted for Obama in 2008, only 39 percent said they will vote for his reelection next year.

While finding a sensible immigration solution is important to them, Hispanics find issues such as the economy and job creation as well as pro-life and pro-family values also very important.

In Texas, for example, the Texas House of Representatives has taken a major step forward in reaching out to the Latino vote with the creation of the Hispanic Republican Conference, originally formed by the House’s five Hispanic Republicans but joined since by other state representatives whose districts have at least 30% Hispanic constituents.

The state of Florida will have 29 electoral votes next year, tied with New York for third in the country behind California and Texas, two other states with sizable Hispanic populations.

Some presidential candidates in the GOP are already working with Latino communities.

Over the last few years the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has made it a priority to understand, and gain respect, from the Hispanic and Latino communities. Gingrich has hosted conferences, forums and he regularly contributes Spanish OpEds on policy issues and real solutions.

Lionel Sosa, who has consulted seven Republican presidential campaigns on Hispanic issues, has praised Gingrich for being upfront on immigration and considers him the most attractive Republican candidate for Latinos.

Now Mitt Romney is trying to reach out to a critical voting bloc in a pivotal Electoral College state as Florida. Today he told a group of Hispanics in Florida that President Obama hasn’t even attempted to resolve the nation’s immigration issues.

“Three years ago, Candidate Obama promised to address the problems of illegal immigration in America. He failed. The truth is, he didn’t even try,” Romney said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Republican National Hispanic Assembly in Tampa.

Romney urged a ban on incentives that promote illegal immigration. He noted that, while governor, he vetoed legislation that would have provided in-state tuition rates to the children of illegal immigrants .

Romney did not mention by name the leading candidate in the GOP today, Rick Perry, but the Texas governor has dismissed the idea of a fence along the entire U.S.-Mexico border as “ridiculous” (but has said he supports a fence in some metropolitan areas). Romney also focused on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

According to the Wall Street Journal, immigration could be one of Rick Perry’s main weaknesses among tea party voters, who have peppered candidates with questions on the topic at recent town halls.

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