The Latino Vote: How Latinos Decided the 2012 Election

Rosie Perez on Mitt Romney’s comment on Latino voters.

About a month ago, Rosie Perez’s starred in this youtube video commentating on Mitt Romney’s comment that if he were born a Latino, it would be a lot easier for him to win the 2012 presidential election.

While this comment surely didn’t win him any favors with the Latino / Latina community in the United States, he certainly highlights a very important shift in demographics towards an exponentially increasing Latino population. Around 17% of the total population at the moment, the hispanic population has grown from 16.3% in the past two years and is currently the fastest growing racial group in the United States. In fact, roughly 1 out of 4 people under the age of 18 is of Hispanic origins (Wall Street Journal). That means that sooner than you might think, minority races will be the majority and outnumber white individuals.

And this election, the Latino population made it clear that their support swung towards Obama and the Democratic party. Exit Polls attributed 75% of the Latino vote towards President Obama, Romney receiving a mere 23%. Latinos helped Obama win Colorado this year, a contested swing state, making up roughly 20% of the state’s population (Huffington Post).

A key issue regarding Latino voters this year was the stance on immigration policies each candidate took, Obama generally supporting immigration services and Romney against pro-immigration policies. Overall, however, Latino voters generally tend to agree with Obama’s policies in economics, health services, and education as well.

Huffington Post received this comment:

“”Republicans are going to have to have a real serious conversation with themselves,” said Eliseo Medina, an immigration reform advocate and secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union. “They need to repair their relationship with our community. … They can wave goodbye to us if they don’t get right with Latinos.””

And with the exponentially growing Latino population and the power of Latino voters in all upcoming elections, it seems like the Republican party will need to reconsider their party platform towards immigration if they hope to have a shot at future elections.

-Kerry Sakimoto


About rowlanda12

This is a blog about the 2012 presidential election. Content is generated by students in Professor Heldman's Politics 101 class. She does not necessarily endorse the views expressed here.
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One Response to The Latino Vote: How Latinos Decided the 2012 Election

  1. Hi Kerry,
    Thanks so much for your post regarding the Latino vote in this election, and in elections to come! You made some really interesting points, but I’d like to hear your opinion on a specific question facing Republicans: how, exactly, should the right reform their platform to attract Latino voters? Is it all based on immigration reform, or is the Latino population connected to the Democratic party on other issues as well (as you suggested – ‘economics, health services, and education’)?
    In other words, how do you think the Republican party should go about ameliorating their perception within the Latino community?
    – Emily Pelz

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