How Mitt Romney could lure Latinos
The conventional wisdom is that Mitt Romney has a problem with Latinos. The nation’s fastest-growing voting bloc opted for President Obama by more than a two-to-one margin in 2008, and after a series of comments by Romney during the Republican primary alienated Latinos, Democrats hope to do even better this time around.
“I’m actually thinking that the way it looks right now that I expect that the president is going to get an even higher percentage in 2012,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa predicted in an interview last month.
Recent polls appear to back up Democrats’ optimism. A poll conducted by Latino Decisions for ABC News and Univision in late January revealed 67 percent support for Obama among registered Latino voters nationwide, compared with 25 percent support for Romney.
If that holds true, it would likely be enough to hand Obama another term in the White House.
“Romney desperately needs to improve his numbers with Latinos. Polls show Romney trailing by as much as an unbelievable 50 percentage points behind President Obama with Hispanic voters,” wrote Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist, in a CNN op-ed last Thursday. “In 2008, Arizona Sen. John McCain won 31 percent of the Latino vote. It cost him states like Florida, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah. Unless Romney gets close to 40 percent of the Latino vote, he can kiss the White House goodbye.”
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