Latino Voters Feel Ignored by Republicans and Democrats


"We could see a slowing growth in the rate of Latino voters in those states, which could bring down the national average, but we could see growth in [swing states] like New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona, so there may be fewer numbers of votes, but they're much more important to the outcome."

If there are high levels of Latino turnout, however, Latinos could ensure a solid Obama base in the West and potentially put Arizona into play, although many experts think the latter scenario is unlikely.

While the immigration issue could be a potent force out west, the simmering debate over entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid could have an impact in Florida.
Latinos are generally "big-government moderate" or even "big-government conservative," and generally supportive of the economic positions that Democrats have backed. The Ryan choice forces Republicans to confront questions about the appropriate role of government which may open them to criticism from Latino voters who generally support the entitlement programs Ryan’s budget would cut.

DeSipio cites the 1996 presidential race, where traditionally Republican Cuban-Americans backed Democratic contender Bill Clinton after Republican Bob Dole touted the privatization of Social Security.

"That scared a lot of Cubans," DeSipio said, but warned that for Cubans to swing Democratic, "the debate has to not revert back to jobs," which he thinks is unlikely.
But Martinez-De-Castro says not so fast.

She thinks it's too early to tell what impact the Ryan choice – and the Medicare debate -- will have on Latino voters.

"Forty percent say they're not familiar with who Ryan is," she said, "and the budget proposals he's talked about affect programs a lot of communities think are important, including Latinos, but a lot of it depends on how they're communicating on specifics Latinos care about."

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