Candidates vie for Hispanic vote

This week the Obama reelection campaign launched its "Latinos for Obama" effort, which includes house parties around the country, online tools like a Spanish tax calculator, and Spanish-language advertising.

This week the Obama reelection campaign launched its "Latinos for Obama" effort, which includes house parties around the country, online tools like a Spanish tax calculator, and Spanish-language TV and radio advertising.

The Obama campaign has also aligned with celebrity and otherwise high-profile Latinos, such as actress Eva Longoria and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Also this week, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was heard telling supporters how vital he sees the Hispanic vote.

We have to get Hispanic voters to vote for our party,” and if Obama wins that voting bloc, it “spells doom for us.”

The GOP, of course, does not want to miss out on this party, particularly when this group has the potential to play a starring role in several key swing states like New Mexico, Florida, and Colorado. Earlier this year, the RNC hired Bettina Inclan to mobilize the Latino vote.

Recent data from Pew Research shows Obama leading Romney by 40 points among Hispanics despite some dissatisfaction with the president's immigration record.

A challenge to both parties is motivating Latinos to vote when data from the 2010 midterm elections showed low voter turnout for this increasing US demographic.

The Washington Post has an interesting analysis about the problems that both sides face in getting this diverse community to warm to their message.

There are signs that Latinos are not as enamored with Obama as they once were. A Gallup poll this month, for example, found that his job approval among Hispanics was only nine percentage points above the national average…During the primaries, Romney ran to the right of his GOP rivals on immigration, criticizing Texas Gov. Rick Perry for signing a law that would grant in-state college tuition rates to illegal immigrants… Romney called Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law — which is set for argument next week before the Supreme Court — “a model” for the nation.

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