Is Romney´s Campaign Giving Up On Expanding The Latino Vote?

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign announced its first Spanish commercial on the same day that it proudly touted the endorsement by Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State and the brains behind all of the anti immigrant state laws that are so odious to most Latinos.

It does seem like a contradiction: one action is meant to attract and respect Latino voters, the other one is certain to bring condemnation from many if not most of them. However, for political experts, including a Republican consultant, there seems to be a logical explanation: Romney strategists may be considering a path to victory that does not require him to pursue a significant percentage of the Latino vote, not even what George W.Bush earned in 2000 or 2004, which was over 30% or closer to 40%, depending who you ask.

"Romney's strategy has its risks, but the reality is that he will not be seeking the Latino vote in the same way George W. Bush did" said David Johnson, a Republican consultant and CEO of Strategic Vision in Atlanta, who was a consultant to the Bob Dole campaign in 1996.

According to Johnson, the reason is that Romney will have enough trouble proving to the conservative Republican base that he is "one of them", and in such a position, he can not afford the messaging and the effort to try to broaden the base. That is left for candidates considered strong conservatives like Ronald Reagan, who attracted conservative democrats to his coalition or to George W. Bush, who at the time he ran was a favorite of the Republican base and therefore could work on expanding the reach to get a larger share of the Latino vote than the typical presidential candidate had gotten in the 1990´s.

Romney will have to try to appeal to moderates though, and he will move to do that in the general election, Johnson said.

"I believe he´ll keep a very hard line on immigration in order not scare the conservative base," said Johnson. "But he will seek moderates by emphasizing that he favors legal immigration, which does not mean much because it is something that everyone favors. And that makes him look moderate."
The Republican potential nominee´s road to victory then, will most likely not include the states of Colorado, New Mexico or Nevada. Not even Arizona, which this year is considered in play and a possible win for the Democrats. These are states that by their demographic and according to all polls favor Obama. Romney will seek to talke states in the "rust belt" of the country like Michigan and Ohio, where many white blue collar voters supported the Democrat in 2008 amid a severe economic crisis. READ MORE

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Comment by Pedro Hughes on January 23, 2012 at 11:10pm

If he is (giving up on expanding Latino vote) he's getting bad campaign advice.

A lot of politicians and media types seem to assume that Latinos will just accept that being a democrat is just a fact of life for reasons too complicated for us to understand, as is the case with (most) blacks.

If Romney's campaign has bought into that tripe, he deserves to lose the election.

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