Friday, February 10, 2012

No Se Puede?

So far, it looks like the American electorate in 2012 will be the most diverse electorate our country has ever seen. Earlier today, NALEO released stats to confirm this.

The number of Hispanics who will head to voter booths in November is projected to increase by 26 percent over 2008, a national Latino interest group announced Wednesday.

The bipartisan National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund based its projections on average increases in turnout in previous elections as reported by the Census Bureau.

Hispanic voter turnout in 2008 was 9.7 million, and is expected to reach 12.2 million this year. The interest group said the increased projection is due in part to the estimated 50,000 Latinos who turn 18 each month.

“Latinos continue to reshape the nation’s political map, and the Latino electorate will play a decisive role in Election 2012,” NALEO executive director Arturo Vargas said in a statement.

If the group’s projection holds true, Latinos will account for at least 8.7 percent of the country’s voters in November.

Vargas concluded: “Both presidential candidates and political parties must actively work to engage Latino voters and address the issues they care about. This electorate has shown that it cannot be taken for granted by either party … Latinos played a key role in the 2008 election; they will determine who is sworn in on January 20, 2013.”

So why on earth are Republicans doing everything they can to turn away Latin@ voters? Remember when Sharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron Angle made her campaign so xenophobic that even Republicans ran away in total disgust?

It now looks like today's batch of G-O-TEA Presidential Candidates are following in her footsteps. And even Republicans are wondering aloud if their Presidential Candidates can tone down the "TEA" flavored xenophobia in time to make inroads with Latin@ voters in the general election.

Now of course, it can be argued that these candidates are just trying to keep up with their "base". After all, they've been demanding a holiday for white people, discriminatory & unnecessary voter ID laws, renewed acceptance of white nationalists, and crazy immigration statutes that cost jobs and hurt the economy. But really, how far must these candidates go to please "the base"?

Look at how far Willard Romney has gone. He's been endorsed by the extreme right Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), the guy perhaps most responsible for Arizona's and Alabama's extreme anti-immigrant statutes as well as someone with well documented ties to white supremacist groups.

Mittens not only opposes comprehensive immigration reform, but he also virulently opposes the DREAM Act, and he's been confronted by Latin@ students over it. And if that weren't bad enough, Romney's economic policies would also hurt Latino families if enacted by stripping away their health care, taking away opportunities to attend college, and destroying Social Security. Oh, and he also has long standing ties to Former California Governor Pete Wilson (R), the guy who ran on the extreme anti-immigrant Prop 187 and ultimately killed whatever chances California Republicans had of ever winning the Latino vote again.

And how are the other G-O-TEA candidates aiming to distinguish themselves from Mittens? Oh, they're also embracing the xenophobia! "Frothy" Ricky Santorum also opposes comprehensive immigration reform, and he's actually gone so far as to endorse mass deportation! Meanwhile, Newton Leroy Gingrich has called Spanish a "language of the ghetto", supports a ridiculous policy on English language that would hurt American business if enacted, and now wants to send tracking devices to undocumented immigrants (HUH??!!). Is there an end to all this G-O-TEA crazy?

Republican strategists must be hoping so, as their candidates' polling numbers among Latinos are becoming absolutely atrocious. Of course, the overall polling data are becoming worse for everyone in the G-O-TEA field. But if they can't close the gap with Latinos, then there's little hope for sustained overall improvement. As we noted above, Latinos are a fast growing part of our electorate. And as long as the likes of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum continue to bash Latino Americans, they're just sowing the seeds of their own defeat this November.

Muchas gracias, Republicanos, para su estupidez.

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