Election was a Turning Point for Latinos
Obama's overwhelming 71-27 percent victory margin among Latino voters nationwide Tuesday means that no U.S. presidential candidate in coming years will be able to turn his back on Hispanics, or adopt agendas widely unpopular among Latinos, as Republican candidate Gov.
As we predicted in this column dozens of times, most recently in our last pre-election column on Sunday, Romney will go down in history as the Republican candidate who got the smallest percentage of Latino votes in recent years.
According to exit polls, Romney got only 27 percent of the Hispanic vote, much less than the 35 percent that former President
Romney's disastrous performance among Hispanics, which was one of the key reasons why he lost the election, shouldn't come as a surprise: whether it's on immigration, healthcare, taxes, education or gun control, he sided with the extreme right wing of the
Although immigration was not the top issue on the minds of Latinos, it mattered. Many know hard-working people who don't have immigration papers. And Romney's support for
It wasn't just Romney's positions that irked Latinos. It was his angry tone and dehumanizing references to "illegal aliens" - especially during the primaries - that left a sour taste among Latino audiences.
Romney thought, mistakenly, that he could win this election without the Latino vote.
His campaign's strategic calculation was that the economy was doing so badly, that a combination of enthusiastic support from white males and high abstention rates from Latinos would combine to win enough votes to win the election.
But he was wrong on both counts: the economy didn't tank as much as he thought, nor did Latinos stay as home as he hoped. Even among mostly conservative Cuban-American voters in
More important, Bendixen predicts that the percentage of Latino voters will more than double to 25 percent of the voting population over the next decade.
It may not be an outlandish forecast: we may soon see an immigration reform that will bring about millions of new Latino voters, legal immigration is not going to stop, and one cannot rule out that
The 2012 election not only officially propelled Latinos into a decisive voting bloc in swing states such as
"This is something of a watershed moment," says
My opinion: Obama won overwhelmingly among Latinos in part because Romney's
With an estimated 50,000 Latinos reaching the voting age of 18 every month and growing numbers voting, Hispanics have become a formidable political force.
Whether Latinos continue voting solidly Democrat or split their vote, they have made their official debut as a decisive electoral factor.
The 2012 election may be the last in which one party turned its back on most Latino voters, and in which organizers failed to appoint a Latino journalist to moderate a presidential debate, to ensure that Latino and Latin American issues become part of the agenda.
The Latino giant proved to not be asleep. That's good for Latinos, good for
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