U.S. Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks to reporters in Los Angeles, California, September 17, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Jim Young )
President Obama has a strong grip on the Hispanic vote, but the slow speed of the U.S.'s economic recovery may allow the Romney campaign to scrape away Latino support by appealing to the 48 percent of the demographic that view the economy as the central issue this election.
A recent Fox News poll, which included a random sample of 887 Latino voters, asked participants which issues they found most important. Following the 48 percent who voted for the economy, healthcare landed at 14 percent, education at 11 percent, social issues at 8 percent, immigration at 6 percent, and National security at 5 percent. The margin of error for the study is 3 percent.
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Of the Latinos polled, 60 percent asserted that they would vote for Obama-Biden this November, while 30 percent put their weight behind Romney-Ryan.
When Obama won the presidency in 2008, he won 67 of the Latino vote, leaving McCain with 31 percent.
Rosario Marin, the former U.S. Treasurer under President George W. Bush, notes that the Republican Party has an opportunity to rally the Latino community under the banner of economic reform.
"The economy has to be front and center," she said. "Latinos want jobs. That is why they come to this country...to work."
"What Obama gives to Latinos is an unemployment check. What they want is a pay check," she adds.
Gabriella Domenzain, the director of Hispanic Press for the Obama campaign, states that "Mitt Romney has left no room for doubt that he is on the wrong side of all issues of importance to Latinos and is the most extreme presidential nominee in recent history on immigration."
She concludes, "Romney's policies would disproportionately hurt Hispanics and nothing short of a complete reversal of his positions would warrant Latinos reconsidering him as a candidate."