Are Hispanic Voters a Smart Investment?

Politicians and networks know that Hispanic voters will play a major role in the 2012 elections. But just how much are they willing to invest in money and time to win their vote? Some have said that the Democrats have taken the Hispanic vote for granted. Some have said that Republicans overestimate the Catholic loyalty. Who is going to fight harder for Latino votes?

Will Hispanic Voter Turnout Exceed 2008?
It’s been long evident that Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic, and it makes sense that this is also the fastest growing voter bloc. In fact, some pundits say Hispanic voters will make a bigger impact on the Florida polls this year than the Jewish vote.  Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina election outcomes may be determined with the growing number of Latino voters. About one-half of the registered Hispanic voters cast a ballot in 2008, but only 31 percent showed up in the midterm 2010 elections. For 2012, about 55 percent of the 22 million registered Hispanic voters are projected to go to the polls.  There’s even talk about so-red-it’s-maroon Texas being a swing state in the next twenty years due to the growing number of Hispanic voters.

Hispanic Voters Seek Meaningful Conversations from the Candidates
Exactly one month ago, Univision president Randy Falco lamented the fact that neither President Obama nor Governor Romney planned a debate tailored to the Hispanic audience. He wanted a dedicated conversation moderated by Hispanic moderators to address issues important to the Hispanic demographic. Naturally, Falco offered his network.

While not a debate, both candidates have given time to Telemundo and Univision news departments.  Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart scored a one-on-one interview with President Obama that aired in two parts on September 13 and 16. Diaz-Balart followed that by interviewing Governor Romney in a report that aired on Sept 17.

Univision got in on the action in a two part “Meet the Candidate” series that it hosted in conjunction with Facebook. Both candidates were interviewed by two Univision news anchors in front of a live crowd at the University of Miami, Romney on September 19 and Obama on September 20.

With Election Day six weeks out, both candidates hope to speak directly to the emerging Hispanic demographic in a language and about issues to which Latinos relate.

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Dave Werner
Dave Werner