[notice]Mitt Romney’s Big Latino Problem[/notice]
Now Romney has been palling around with Senator Marco Rubio, who is not as popular among Latinos as Romney hoped he’d be. A recent poll showed that Rubio would only give Romney a 2% bump in the Latino vote. President Barack Obama would still drown Romney. The Latino vote will help tip the scales in places like Colorado and the all-important Florida.The Latino vote is even more critical in this year’s presidential election. President Obama enjoys a huge lead right now over Romney; he also enjoys a huge lead when it comes to women and African American voters. Romney has said nothing to denounce the attacks on women by male Republican lawmakers who have been champions of promoting legislation that would mandate invasive vaginal exams before women were allowed access to contraception. Romney showed no courage and kept quiet. Yet he hopes to be a leader for all; women and men.Romney, in his attempt to reach out to Black voters in the last election cycle posed with a group of African-American children and said, “Who let the dogs out? Hooh-hooh!” He may have to work a bit harder than that.Romney’s primary problem is that he has always enjoyed a privileged lifestyle. He does not know how the other 99% live. That’s why, without missing a beat he was able to tell CNN’s Soledad O’brien that he didn’t care about the very poor. They would be provided for by the social safety net; the same safety net which he and his colleagues such as Rep. Paul Ryan hope to eliminate.Romney would be a great president. Not for the 99% of Americans though; for the 1%.
Obama wants to be president for most Americans. Romney believes he’s entitled to be president because of his wealth and pedigree.
“Speaking Truth To Empower.”
[notice]GOP Suicide: Why Can’t Republicans Stop Alienating Women, Young People and Hispanics?[/notice]
It’s almost as if the GOP can’t help itself.
Start with Hispanic voters, whose electoral heft keeps growing as they comprise an ever-larger portion of the electorate. Hispanics now favor President Obama over Romney by more than two to one, according to a recent Pew poll.
The movement of Hispanics into the Democratic camp has been going on for decades. What are Republicans doing to woo them back? Replicating California Republican Governor Pete Wilson’s disastrous support almost twenty years ago for Proposition 187 – which would have screened out undocumented immigrants from public schools, health care, and other social services, and required law-enforcement officials to report any “suspected” illegals. (Wilson, you may remember, lost that year’s election, and California’s Republican Party has never recovered.)
The Arizona law now before the Supreme Court – sponsored by Republicans in the state and copied by Republican legislators and governors in several others – would authorize police to stop anyone looking Hispanic and demand proof of citizenship. It’s nativism disguised as law enforcement.
Romney is trying to distance himself from that law, but it’s not working. That may be because he dubbed it a “model law” during February’s Republican primary debate in Arizona, and because its author (former state senator Russell Pearce, who was ousted in a special election last November largely by angry Hispanic voters) says he’s working closely with Romney advisers.
Hispanics are also reacting to Romney’s attack just a few months ago on GOP rival Texas Governor Rick Perry for supporting in-state tuition at the University of Texas for children of undocumented immigrants. And to Romney’s advocacy of what he calls “self-deportation” – making life so difficult for undocumented immigrants and their families that they choose to leave.
As if all this weren’t enough, the GOP has been pushing voter ID laws all over America, whose obvious aim is to intimidate Hispanic voters so they won’t come to the polls. But they may have the opposite effect – emboldening the vast majority of ethnic Hispanics, who are American citizens, to vote in even greater numbers and lend even more support to Obama and other Democrats.
Or consider women – whose political and economic impact in America continues to grow (women are fast becoming better educated than men and the major breadwinners in American homes). The political gender gap is huge. According to recent polls, women prefer Obama to Romney by over 20 percent.
So what is the GOP doing to woo women back? Attacking them. Last February, House Republicans voted to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. Last May, they unanimously passed the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” banning the District of Columbia from funding abortions for low-income women. (The original version removed all exceptions – rape, incest, and endangerment to a mother’s life – except “forcible” rape.)
Earlier this year Republican legislators in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Idaho, and Alabama pushed bills requiring women seeking abortions to undergo invasive vaginal ultrasound tests (Pennsylvania Republicans even wanted proof such had viewed the images).
Republican legislators in Georgia and Arizona passed bills banning most abortions after twenty weeks of pregnancy. The Georgia bill would also require that any abortion after 20 weeks be done in a way to bring the fetus out alive. Republican legislators in Texas have voted to eliminate funding for any women’s healthcare clinic with an affiliation to an abortion provider – even if the affiliation is merely a shared name, employee, or board member.
All told, over 400 Republican bills are pending in state legislatures, attacking womens’ reproductive rights.
But even this doesn’t seem enough for the GOP. Republicans in Wisconsin just repealed a law designed to prevent employers from discriminating against women.
Or, finally, consider students – a significant and growing electoral force, who voted overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008. What are Republicans doing to woo them back? Attack them, of course.
Republican Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s budget plan – approved by almost every House Republican and enthusiastically endorsed by Mitt Romney – allows rates on student loans to double on July 1 – from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. That will add an average of $1,000 a year to student debt loads, which already exceed credit-card debt.
House Republicans say America can’t afford the $6 billion a year it would require to keep student loan rates down to where they are now. But that same Republican plan gives wealthy Americans trillions of dollars in tax cuts over the next decade. (Under mounting political pressure, House Republicans have come up with just enough money to keep the loan program going for another year – safely past Election Day – by raiding a fund established for preventive care in the new health-care act.)
Here again, Romney is trying to tiptoe away from the GOP position. He now says he supports keeping student loans where they were. Yet only a few months ago he argued that subsidized student loans were bad because they encouraged colleges to raise their tuition.
How can a political party be so dumb as to piss off Hispanics, women, and young people? Because the core of its base is middle-aged white men – and it doesn’t seem to know how to satisfy its base without at the same time turning off everyone who’s not white, male and middle-aged.
Robert Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written 13 books, including his latest best-seller, “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future;” “The Work of Nations,” which has been translated into 22 languages; and his newest, an e-book, “Beyond Outrage.” His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at www.robertreich.org.
[notice]How Mitt Romney lost Latinos[/notice]
Republicans had high hopes of eroding President Barack Obama’s dominance among Hispanic voters in 2012 — so great was Latino frustration with Obama’s tough deportation policy and his failure to fulfill the promesa of immigration reform.
Instead, with eight months to go before Election Day, Obama is on pace to match the 67 percent support he got from Latino voters in 2008 — and the GOP may be undoing a decade of work to attract Hispanics, thanks to its election-year rhetorical sprint to the right on immigration, a charge led by front-runner Mitt Romney.
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[notice]Hispanic and Latino Demographic Influence on 2012 Election[/notice]
>By Sofia Sanchez |February 27th, 2012 |Latino Politics Blog |
Hispanics and Latinos are expected to play a decisive role in elections at all levels in 2012. They are a rapidly growing share of the electorate that could have a major influence on future elections as well. This has implications for both major political parties.
Although they comprise 16 percent of the U.S. population, just 43 percent of Hispanics and Latinos are eligible to vote because they have a higher proportion of non-citizens and those under 18-years-of-age. Pew demographic studies show that this is spread among many states and diminishes their impact on elections and the Electoral College. In some states, they would only comprise as little one or two percent of the electorate.
However, in states such as California and Nevada, the demographic effects of the Hispanic and Latino vote can impact the results dramatically. In these states, both political parties will be competing for their votes using the issues that are important to these voters.
Illegal immigration is high among those issues. According to Lincoln Park Strategists statistics, 61 percent of Hispanics and Latinos consider discrimination a major problem. They support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants as long as they pass a background check, pay a fine, and have jobs. Less than 20 percent support the strict immigration laws that were passed in Arizona and other states.
The Hispanic population in Florida is the third-largest in the nation with Latinos representing 13.1% of all votes for the state. As a younger population of voters they too will be concerned about discriminatory regulations and most importantly immigrations laws, as stated by various abogados en Orlando. Candidates will be paying closest attention to the dominant state of New Mexico, that accounting for the largest percentage of Hispanic voters at 39%.
Meanwhile, Hispanics and Latinos place high importance on living a religious life. They are more likely to oppose abortion and are less supportive of gay marriage. However, there are indications that younger generations, those in the 16 to 25 age group, are more tolerant about these issues than the older generations. There appears to be a more liberal attitude than that of early generations of immigrants. There are implications for both political parties in the differences between these generations.
The impact of this younger generation was reflected in Arizona when curriculum that focused on Mexican-American history was determined by state legislators to be biased against the United States. The Tucson high school in which it was taught was forced to shut it down or lose millions of dollars in funding from the states. This attracted attention of Hispanics and Latinos from across the U.S., some of whom came to the city to join the movement by parents and students that resulted in protests at the school board and marches in the city. It is expected that this could create a larger than usual turnout of younger Hispanics and Latinos, especially in Arizona and the southwestern states, during the 2012 election.
The demographic reality may affect the way both political parties deal with policies that alienate this population and may influence a softening on such issues as that of hard-line, anti-immigration by some politicians. However, whatever demographic advantage Hispanic and Latinos may have, the impact some believe is possible will not occur unless a higher proportion of that population actually turns out and votes in 2012. A larger turnout than has occurred in the past could determine which party controls the presidency and both houses of Congress for the next four years.
[notice]Latinos won’t forget Romney’s ‘anti-immigrant’ talk[/notice]
- Ruben Navarrette Jr. says Mitt Romney has been inconsistent on the immigration issue
- He says that on the campaign trail, Romney had advanced a position that is anti-immigrant
- Navarrette: But in Florida Romney has softened his stance
- He says that Latinos don’t forget so easily Romney’s previous anti-immigrant rhetoric
Miami, Florida (CNN) – Responding angrily to a campaign ad from Newt Gingrich accusing him of being anti-immigrant, Mitt Romney insisted during last week’s Republican debate at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville that he has no problem with immigrants.
Perhaps not. But the dishonest and cynical way in which the former governor of Massachusetts has dealt with the immigration issue on the campaign trail shows that he has a problem being consistent.
In Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Romney attacked Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for immigration proposals that Romney said amounted to “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.
But last week, in Florida, where Hispanics account for 22.5 percent of the population, we caught a glimpse of a kinder and gentler Romney. He told the Hispanic Leadership Network, a center-right group, that he would create a “temporary worker permit” for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.
However, Romney said, when the permit expires, workers wouldn’t be forced to leave the United States. Instead, they would decide their next move themselves depending on their job prospects. His hope is that, at this point, many illegal immigrants would simply “self-deport.”