While we worry about growing the Latino electorate with fresh new voters we hope go “blue,” we also need to start worrying about eroding support from Latinos for President Obama.
For a group that supported Obama so heavily in 2008 and in his first year in office, only 43 percent of Hispanics surveyed said Obama is adequately addressing their needs, with the economy a major concern. Another 32 percent were on the fence, while 21 percent said he’d done a poor job.
That’s somewhat understandable, given that far more Hispanics have faced job losses and financial stress than the U.S. population in general.
But there’s an 8oo lb. gorilla in the room–immigration reform.
An unfulfilled promise to overhaul the nation’s patchwork immigration system, which Hispanics overwhelmingly want to see fixed, also may be to blame. That’s despite the fact that Obama is challenging an Arizona law that requires police, while enforcing other laws, to question a person’s immigration status if officers have a reasonable suspicion he or she is in the country illegally.
The thing is, this doesn’t necessarily translate into Republican votes, or even Latinos considering alternatives. We know where the Republican Party stands on Latinos. But as the big-money consultants in the Democratic Party tip-toe around immigration reform in an attempt to get some of our candidates East and West Texas rural support, there’s not much else being done, especially at the top of the ticket. Not only are Democrats turning “right” on immigration, or using tough-love language, to attract a certain segment of the community, it seems there isn’t much going on regarding outreach.
So, no, this doesn’t translate into Republican votes, but it does leave voters disillusioned with what is currently being offered by the other side. Whether it’s the “tough-love” or even Congressional Hispanic Caucus members balking at supporting a stand-alone DREAM Act that could increase interest in November voting, there isn’t a lot to get excited about.
We’ve already gone over the numbers from NALEO. How many more hints to we need?