Mitt Romney's Hispanic Problem is Serious
Two new polls of Latino voters confirm what I have been writing for several months: Republican front-runner
A nationwide poll of likely Hispanic voters released last week by Fox News Latino shows that if the election were held today, 70 percent of Hispanics would vote for President
A previous poll of registered Latino voters nationwide released
Not surprisingly, both polls show that Latinos are uneasy about the anti-immigrant rhetoric used by Romney -- and, to be fair, by the other leading Republican presidential hopefuls as well -- during the Republican primaries.
Romney has enthusiastically supported
According to the Fox News Latino poll, 90 percent of Hispanic U.S. citizens support the DREAM Act, and 80 percent would like to see undocumented immigrants have a chance to legalize their status.
When I asked Republican strategists whether the latest Fox News Latino poll proves that Romney would face an uphill battle to win the November election, they made three basic counter-arguments.
- First, the poll is not very significant in electoral terms, because most of those surveyed are Hispanics from Western states, which tend to vote overwhelmingly Democrat anyway. What will really count in November will be the Hispanic vote in swing states, such as
"Governor Romney has done well in states with large Hispanic populations, such as
Romney won 3 percent of the Hispanic vote in
- Second, all polls agree that the most pressing issue for Hispanics are jobs and the economy. That's what will really count on
- Third, many Latino Democrats may stay at home on
A recent Pew Hispanic Center poll showed that Obama's approval rate among Latinos has dropped from 58 percent in 2010 to 49 percent in 2011.
My opinion: Romney has a huge Latino vote problem. He will most likely try to overcome it by appointing a Latino politician -- Sen.
But even with a Latino or a fluent Spanish-speaker on his ticket, Romney would have a hard time winning the 40 percent of the Latino vote pollsters say he would need to win the election. In his quest for support from the extreme right of his party, he has alienated most Hispanics.
Granted, Romney could make a big rhetorical U-turn on immigration issues after winning the Republican nomination, but I doubt that would be enough.
He will have to also change his stands on the
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Mitt Romney's Hispanic Problem is Serious | Politics
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