Latino voters have responded with enthusiasm to President Obama’s decision Friday to limit deportation proceedings against and extend green card eligibility to roughly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants. But the head of a conservative Latino group in Colorado cautioned that the administration’s track record on immigration demands at best only a cautious optimism.
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In Colorado and a handful of other swing states, the Hispanic vote is expected to be a key factor in this year’s presidential election. As Republican campaign rhetoric around immigration has continued to turn off many Latino voters, some GOP strategists are suggesting the eventual Republican nominee can appeal to Hispanics by focusing on economic issues.
In 2010′s mid-term election, roughly 80 percent of Hispanic voters in Colorado voted for Democrat Michael Bennet for the U.S. Senate over Republican Ken Buck. Obama today is leading strongly among Hispanics.
For Rick Perry, immigration is the issue that keeps on giving. This week in his first visit to New Hampshire in weeks, Perry held a campaign event at a facility owned by a defense contractor. Admission was free and open to the public, but proof of citizenship was required at the door.
Arizona voters, polled after last week’s election, said they voted to recall Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce because of his divisiveness and because they want Arizona’s legislature to focus more on the economy and job creation and less on immigration.
The times they are a changin’. It seems like only yesterday, Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce was considered the most powerful politician in Arizona and a man whose counsel was sought by legislators in Colorado and around the country.
A poll released by Latino Decisions — an organization that focuses on “states in which the Latino vote will play an important role in the 2012 elections” — shows that GOP presidential candidates have low recognition among Latino voters.
According to the Latino Decisions poll released Monday, “none of the Republican presidential candidates has been able to captivate or attract the attention of Latinos until now. In other words, for the time being, among the eight candidates, there is no one equivalent to George W. Bush who would attract a significant percentage of the Latino vote.”
Immigration is an important issue in the United States, but is it something the GOP nomination for president should hinge on? Is there a reason that as unauthorized immigration from Mexico to the U.S. steadily declines, the rhetoric becomes ever more charged?
Rick Perry has been caught slumming–reaching out to Maricopa (AZ) County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, one of the more famous anti-immigration voices of the West.
While Rick Perry seems to take it in the shorts from both the right and the left on any given day, he has quickly become one of the frontrunners for the GOP nomination for president. If he makes it, he will have one group to thank as much as any other–Latino voters.