From the New York Times to Politico, How the Media Covered the Latino Vote

Latino voters played a huge role in the election

November 7, 2012, 2:51 PM

Nov. 07, 2012— -- Media companies recognized the importance of Hispanics in this election, and across the board noted the importance of Latinos in sending Barack Obama back to the White House.

And while so-called "Latino issues" such as immigration have rarely played such a prominent role in the political discourse, both the Obama and Romney teams were well aware of the potential of Latinos to impact the election outcome and they spent significant amounts of time and money courting Latino voters.

Here's how the Latino vote played out in the news:

Huffington Post

The Huffington Post splashed "¡Viva Obama!" across its homepage to announce the president's reelection, and noted that Republicans will have to adapt their policies to succeed among today's increasingly diverse electorate.

"The country is becoming more diverse in general, with a growing Latino population and an even faster-growing Asian population," wrote the Huffington Post's Elise Foley. "Those demographic changes will spell trouble for the Republican Party if it remains on in its current trajectory, among Latino voters in particular."

The New York Times

The Times pointed out immigration as one area where Republicans need to make changes if they hope to attract more Latino voters.

"Some analysts and Republican strategists argued that the party could not win while alienating the growing Hispanic vote with its tough stance on immigration," Michael Cooper noted in the New York Times, "could no longer afford to nominate candidates who fired up its conservative and Tea Party wings but turned off the more moderate voters in general elections, and that it had to find ways to win more support from women and young voters. But some conservatives took the opposite view, arguing that Mitt Romney had been essentially too moderate, a candidate who had won the minds if not hearts of the party's base."

The Washington Post

The Post pointed out specific states where Latinos played a pivotal role, such as Maryland, where Latino voters backed the state's DREAM Act.

The Washington Post noted in a November 6 roundup that "Latino voters have long been considered a key demographic in the 2012 Presidential Election," and pointed to specific places, such as Nevada, where Latino voter turnout was exceptionally high, and Maryland, where Latinos overwhelmingly supported the state's DREAM Act, which will allow undocumented immigrants in the state to pay in-state tuition.


Maggie Haberman noted in Politico that the Romney team's assumption that they could coast to victory among Latinos on their economic message turned out to be wrong.

"Romney's camp assumed that the economy would be a winning message on its own, and that Latino voters would be so disappointed with the president over a failed promise of immigration reform that the Republican wouldn't need to cut into Obama's margins with them," Haberman wrote. "That was not a safe assumption. If Obama wins Florida, black and Hispanic voters will be the reason why."

NBC News

A post on NBC News put it more bluntly than Politico.

"But make no mistake: What happened last night was a demographic time bomb that had been ticking and that blew up in GOP faces…So the Republicans are maximizing their share with white voters; they just aren't getting the rest," reads a post by Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro and Brooke Brower on the site's First Read page.


The title of David Weigel's Slate piece, "Senate Republicans Admit It: We Pissed Off Minorities and Lost," also nailed the issue.

"Mitt Romney lost millions of votes because he alienated Hispanics," Weigel wrote. "Those losses trickled down to bystanders like George Allen and Heather Wilson and Connie Mack. But Romney did the groundwork."

Talking Points Memo

TPM was more blunt still.

"Don't F' with Hispanic Voters," was the sum total of one post by editor and publisher Josh Marshall.

Fox News Latino

Fox News Latino pointed out the importance given to the Latino vote by politicians across party lines.

"It was also an election in which Latinos and their interests and concerns got more attention than ever - in the media, and by conservative and liberal politicians alike (though not always in a positive way)," wrote Elizabeth Llorente on Fox News Latino.

CBS News/Slate

John Dickerson speculated that Romney's loss among Hispanics will lead to internal dialogue on the issue among Republicans in a Slate post that also appeared on CBS News.

"Romney's poor performance with Hispanics, in particular, is likely to start a wave of soul-searching in the party about how to reach out to the country's fastest growing minority group," he wrote.

The Daily Mail

The power of Latino voters in this election didn't go unnoticed by the international community either. Even the United Kingdom's Daily Mail ran an article that began, "A top Republican has admitted his party is 'too old, too white and too male' as a record number of Hispanic voters headed to the polls on Tuesday and helped President Obama secure a second term."

The Republican official, Al Cardenas, who is head of the American Conservative Union, said his party needs to do "a lot of work" to be competitive in the future.

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