Alberto Gonzales: Counting Hispanic votes – a mission for converts
It is no secret that Governor Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, faces a challenge attracting Hispanic support in November’s presidential election. What is not so obvious is why a Republican candidate is having such a difficult time connecting with a group generally considered conservative on issues relating to faith, family, and country. After all, in part due to the policies of President Obama, Hispanic Americans suffer more than other groups from higher unemployment, falling household median income, and a rising poverty rate. Hispanics are also unhappy with the President’s deportation policies and his failure to honor his campaign pledge to them to push for immigration reform.
However, in spite of these circumstances, many polls show President Obama enjoys a significant double-digit level of support from Hispanics over Governor Romney. Shared values and failed economic policies apparently are not enough to offset the inconsistent – sometimes half-hearted – attempts of the Republican Party to make Hispanics feel welcomed and supported.
Governor Romney will have to counter that perception and find a way to develop trust with the Hispanic community. Policies to stimulate the economy and create jobs, and GOP support nationwide for Hispanic Republican candidates will help. However, the Governor must connect directly with Hispanics and convince them that, like President George W. Bush, despite being born of privilege he understands their struggles, values their worth, shares their dreams, and will fight for them. We want to believe in someone who believes in us. Family and friends are important in our culture. This is personal for us and the Governor must make a personal connection in order to convert unbelievers into believers. Many Hispanics will be looking for that relationship and listening for the Governor’s vision of what is still possible in America for Hispanics who get an education, work hard, and pursue a dream.
Read the full story at Fox News Latino