Latinos will favor Obama by default
How the political parties reach out to Latinos in 2012 will help determine which party remains a majority in the coming years. Latinos make up a growing portion of the electorate in a number of states, including states expected to be battlegrounds in the 2012 presidential election, such as Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Nevada. In recent years, the Latino vote has tilted heavily toward the Democrats. If that trend continues, even a relatively small portion of the electorate could have a significant impact in a close race if they vote overwhelmingly for one party.
But Latinos’ symbolic role may be even more important than their ability to have a direct impact on electoral outcomes in 2012. Over the past few electoral cycles, both political parties have made an effort to reach out to Latino voters. Yet, as Arlene Dávila, a professor of anthropology at New York University, argues, much of that outreach on the Republican side was designed to make non-Latino voters see the party as more moderate. With the intensification of anti-Latino immigrant rhetoric within the mainstream of the Republican Party, including among the 2012 presidential candidates, it will be more difficult for Romney to reach out to Latino voters. To do that effectively, he would need to disavow the strongly nativist arm of his party, something that until now he has been unwilling to do. That unwillingness makes it difficult for him to reach out to Latino voters, or to those voters who might support the Republicans if they were less extreme in their rhetoric.
Read the full story at The New York Times