Will the GOP Win the Hispanic Vote in 2012?
The 2012 Presidential Election campaigning has begun, and there appears to be an early battle over the Hispanic vote. While Obama carried the Hispanic vote by a two-to-one margin in 2008, Hispanic support for Obama has been slipping. Hispanic support for Obama is currently at 44%, which is quite a drop from the 74% approval rating when he took office.
Both the DNC and RNC have begun campaigns in Spanish targeting Hispanic voters. The DNC ad cautions Hispanics that Republicans will end Medicare and do not care about families. "It was the president who extended health insurance for our children, financial aid for students and tax cuts for the middle class."
The RNC ad, entitled "Change Directions", shows a young Hispanic girl watching the news in the year 2017 after what would have been Obama's second term..."Eight years ago we were promised hope — today many believe our American dream has been lost."
Before Obama’s triumph in 2008, the GOP was gaining with Hispanics thanks to the popularity of President Bush. After winning only 35 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2000, the Republican incumbent was able to claim 45 percent in 2004. The GOP squandered those gains in 2006, 2008 and 2010 by embracing hard-line positions on immigration that antagonized Hispanic voters.The big question now is whether creeping frustration and pessimism about the economy is enough to push Hispanic voters out of the Obama camp and into the arms of the GOP candidate next year.