During primary season, Mitt Romney was attracting barely more than a quarter of the Latino vote. But yesterday, at the meeting of the National Association of Latino and Elected Appointed Officials, or NALEO, the prospective GOP nominee made his pitch. Where does Romney go from here as he seeks to make inroads with the Latino community?
On Thursday, Mitt Romney will address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Romney’s challenge will be to find some way to contend with Obama’s announcement last Friday that undocumented immigrant youth will be able to stay in the United States and have the opportunity to apply for work permits.
A Fox Latino poll of likely voters released earlier this week showed 70 percent supporting President Obama and just 14 percent supporting Governor Mitt Romney. The same poll also seems to indicate that the Republican party is having trouble winning new Latino voters -- and keeping Latino voters who have favored the GOP in the past. Poll numbers indicated that four of five Latinos who voted for Obama in 2008 planned vote for him again later this year. Meanwhile, among Latinos who voted for Republican Arizona Senator John McCain four years ago only 40 percent now say they support Obama.
Traditionally thought of as a Republican stronghold that most past Democratic candidates haven't even bothered with, the Obama campaign is actively courting Arizonans for 2012. The campaign has opened offices in Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff and recruited a Latino candidate for Senate. The state's booming Latino population, combined with the state legislature's crackdown on illegal immigration, has opened the possibility for a bluer Arizona.
Immigration was a hot topic at the GOP debate on Tuesday. First, Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney attacked each other on the issue. Representative Michele Bachmann also jumped into the fray to attack President Obama. "I think the person who really has a problem with illegal immigration in the country is President Obama," she said. "It’s his uncle and his aunt who are illegal aliens who’ve been allowed to stay in this country despite the fact they're illegal."