Obama’s Hispanic Vote Slipping Away

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“Buenas Tardes” (good afternoon). Barack Obama greeted a crowd of Puerto Ricans in Spanish in San Juan on a presidential visit intended to shore up support of roughly 4.6 million Puerto Ricans who live on the mainland. The Puerto Ricans on the island can’t vote for president even though they’re U.S. citizens.

The Obama campaign machine is striving desperately to recapture the Hispanic vote. In 2008, Obama won 67 percent of the Hispanic voters nationally. The president’s failure to enact an immigration law and vigorously crack down on undocumented workers, however, has caused his glamour to tarnish a bit. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll in late March found that his Latino support had slid to 60 percent.

As of July 2009, 48.4 million people of Hispanic origin lived in the U.S. Today, it’s 50.5 million, the country’s largest ethnic or race minority.

During his welcoming ceremony in San Juan, Obama tried to scrape together Hispanic favor by saying that he would support whatever decision the Island makes about statehood—a long standing dispute over statehood or independence.

The recession has hit Puerto Rico like a small hurricane. The jobless rate is 17 percent, compared to the latest unemployment figure for the U.S. of 9.1 percent. Referring to unemployment, Obama, in a lame statement, said, “These problems didn’t develop overnight here in Puerto Rico or anywhere else, but that means we’re not going to solve them overnight. But day by day, step by step, we will solve them.”

Obama flew to Puerto Rico from campaign stops in North Carolina and Florida to play up to more Latinos. North Carolina has about 380,000 Hispanics. In Florida there are about 840,000 Puerto Ricans.

While the Democrats have the Hispanic vote for 2012 in their headlights, some disconcerting facts that are not well known should dampen their enthusiasm. Despite the overly rapid growth of Latinos, many are far too young to vote. More than a third of Latinos (34.9 percent) are now below the voting age of 18, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

Hispanics comprise 22 percent of all U.S. children younger than 18. Some 43 percent of married couples who are Hispanic have children under age 18. Twenty percent of all elementary and high school students combined are Hispanic. They won’t be voting any time soon.

While 67 percent of eligible Hispanics voted for Obama in 2008, voter turnout of Latinos lags behind whites (48.6 percent), and 44 percent of eligible blacks. That compares to less than a third (31.2 percent ) of eligible Latino voters who said they voted. Only 42 percent of the Latino population — for one reason or another — is eligible to vote. Among Latinos who go to the polls, those age 18 to 28 had the lowest turnout—17.5 percent. Obama’s glory seems to be disappearing among youthful worshipers.

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  • Kenneth McClintock

    Actually, it's not 50 million Hispanics nationwide, but 54 million. We may be denied the right to vote, but we are Hispanics and we are American. You are using false US Census Bureau figures that exclude the nearly 4 million American citizens who are Hispanics residing in Puerto Rico, which is part of the nation.

    Kenneth D. McClintock
    Secretary of State
    Puerto Rico USA

  • Andres de Alamaya

    Rejoice, Americans with clear vision, your naive cousins are beginning to see the light. It has nothing to do with a Spanish vote or Greek vote or Jewish vote, it has to do with discovering reality. They didn't see it when Obama acted like a fundamental Muslim, they didn't see it when he turned on America's best friends, they didn't see it when he mortgaged the lives of the next ten generations of Americans, but today they saw the phony clearly. They saw his ambition and his contempt for the Democratic process; they saw his progress from The Audacity of Hope to the Arrogance of Ignorance. The comments in the Sunday New York Times where the lefties always support him, was today filled with outrage and contempt. By revealing his true nature and character in a way these lefties could not ignore, he has killed his chance of re-election. Hallelujah! Rejoice!

  • Rudy Gonzales

    President Obama has lost some Hispanic votes, but the vast majority have held quiet awaiting the next shoe to drop. The Republican effort to gain the White House in the next election is dependent upon the economy being in tatters. Hispanic children have bared the brunt of GOP/TEA tactics to stop the "Dream Act" last session. Here is one more example of the total lack of conscience of the political right. They do not care that there are people out there truly hurting, loosing everything they have worked for, going without health insurance, cooling, food, fuel, etc. because if the GOP can show higher unemployment figures they feel they will have a better chance at winning the next election. They are sycophants to the wealthiest individuals among us. The corporations that fund their campaigns enable them to reap the rewards of lower taxation, continue to ruin the environment, and the ability to ignore the vast majority which is loosing its health insurance, unemployment, and basic necessities to live. As a resident of Arizona, which voted overwhelmingly for the Republicans in last state election, we will reap what we sow for putting these zealots into power and it won't be pretty. Isn't this a perfect example of how heartless and self-serving Republicans are? The Republican legislators have a job and are sitting pretty, and they don't care that their actions or lack of actions are forcing desperate, out-of-work individuals into foreclosure, into homeless shelters, into having to rely on food stamps. The meanness and cruelty seem to know no bounds when ideology is involved. I watched and listened to the rants during and post Monday's so-called debate and have not found anyone of the seven who were on the stage or joined afterwards who has the same stature of the president. At sixty-eight and having lived in the south, I have seen bigotry, racism and discrimination as I have felt it myself. Studying American history, serving in the military and watching the most recent elections, I have come to the realization that America has not learned a thing from past generations.

    • Marcus

      Hello & Greetings from Arizona , Rudy I am truely saddened to read your post , Also surprized , I watch CSPAN and read and watch The Liberal Lamestream Media ,After reading your post I am convinced that you must be referring to the Democrats ,Not the Republicans , I am an Independant and was not a big fan of El Presedente Jorge Bush ,But considering what we have now !!! The Democrats in less then 3 years have so screwed this entire country up ,It is hard to believe , I do still encounter some less then intelligent people that still blame everything on Jorge Bush , It reminds me of the bumper sticker I saw the other day , Still voting Democrat ??? Stuck on Stupid ???? it is hard for me to believe that anyone that has more then 3 brain cells to rub together does not know that the Democrats are the ones that have gotten all of us into this situation and are making it worse every week , In less then 3 years the Democratic morons have created more dept ,By bailling out giant corporations ,And spending Trillions of Dollars that this nation does not have ,Even a fool knows that you can`t spend your way out of debt !!

    • Jean

      You have GOT to be kidding. . . . .The democrats only give lip service to those who have their hands out, only to slap them after they are elected. They divide America by race and class instead of trying to unite by just all being AMERICANS. Both parties spend too much and are putting us into a tailspin and fast. You need to read more history about LBJ and see how bigoted he was but how he got the black vote. If you actually read real history, you will find that the republicans are the ones who fought for civil rights and the democrats are the ones that were the party of the KKK. I am neither Democrat nor Republican. I am an Independent and can't bear to see what is going on in our country. You used to see real "Love of Country" but now all you see are the illegals coming in and spreading hatred. Immigrants USED to come here so they could work and find a new life, not have one GIVEN to them for FREE. That is not freedom – and we are on the road to serfdom. Go back and read what all of our Founding Fathers had to say and why they said it. When we get back to the basics – and living under GOD who gave us this privilege, then we will see our country emerge once again. We need to get rid of the greed all the way from the top down to the bottom where people feel entitled to other peoples' success and be willing to work for their own.

      • coyote3

        Ever notice, the Democrats, along with other liberals ran the show for many, many years. Actually, since before WWII, and they still do to a great extent. All of the misery they like to point out has been with us, according to them, for that entire time, inflicted on everyone, hispanics included. Seems to me, that if they had wanted to "fix" things, they had ample time, and power to do so. They didn't "fix" one problem they spoke about. That is according to their own rhetoric. They are complaining about the same "problems" they complained about 50-60 years ago. Oh, they might have a new twist, but they are basically the same. The only conclusion, I can draw is that they really don't want to "fix" these problems (assuming they are problems in the first place), because they need those problems for the next round of votes.

    • D Martinez

      Rudy, I am a 50 year old Hispanic, born and raised in Colorado and a retired Air Force Master Sergeant. I have been studying politics and both political parties for the last 20 years and have come to the conclusion that liberalism and the Democratic party are bad not only for the USA but doubly so for Hispanics. Bush was attacked by the left for his "failed policies" and racism. However, when I compared who he appointed to high levels in his cabinet and who Obama and Clinton appointed I see fewer minorities appointed by both Clinton and Obama.
      Then when I take a look at the unemployment rate for blacks under Bush and compare it to the unemployment rate for blacks under Bush I am shocked to see Obama's policies have increased the unemployment rate to 16% for May 2011 compared to Bush who's unemployment rate for blacks was 8.5% for May 2007.
      Whats just as amazing is how you as a Hispanic probably don't realize how bad the unemployment rate for Hispanics have become under Obama. Under Obama the Hispanic unemployment rate is 12% as of May 2011 while it was at 5% under Bush for May 2007. It seems all the rhetoric you've spouted should be pointed at the liberal Democrats and not the Republicans.
      I hope we do sow a bevy of conservative Republicans for if we do we will reap a bumper crop of freedom and prosperity as our founding fathers hoped for.
      How you can claim Obama has ANY stature is ludicrous and laughable. This man is more secretive than any president in the last 30 years. He releases a image of his "long form" birth certificate only to have experts show that it's a fraudulently produced image.
      He traipsed around the world apologizing for the U.S. not reassuring them that the U.S.A. will be ready to defeat another Hitler. He is perhaps the worst president we've had in a 100 years or perhaps ever.
      He's willing to "share the wealth" by taking away your money and giving it to illegals who are allowed to stay in the U.S. because they've birthed children in the U.S. His cap and trade will create more poverty and put the government in even greater control of our lives. He has stated that his problem with the U.S. constitution is that it does not say what the government can do to it's citizen. He's a scary character and all minorities need to understand the direction he's heading is towards socialism and government control, not freedom and prosperity.
      Thomas Jefferson said "a government big enough to give everything you want, is big enough to take it away." Obama wants a government big enough to give you everything you want, as long you vote for him, if you don't he wants a government big enough to take away everything you have. He calls it sharing the wealth, or wealth redistribution.

    • http://www.JudeGoss.com Carol S Key

      It is possible to remove prosperity enough through illegal immigration that America looks like Mexico. Would you be happy then, Rudy, to discover that everyone is as poorly off as those in your native country? And when this occurs will all of the illegals then return home because there is no difference in our two countries?

      I am not wanting to disparage you, but 57% of illegals are on government assistance…they have the highest rate of illiteracy, high school drop out, number of pregnancies…must I go on. The problem is not the Republicans, but a system that applauds and awards illegitimacy (and this is fostered by Democrat legislation to buy ignorant votes for entitlement).

      Please be a student of learning and not one of ignorant prejudicial self service…and please start now. Soon it could be too late!

  • Lady_Dr

    Let me explain something to both of you – George Bush was a RINO (Republican in Name Only), not a Conservative. Please stop using the terms Republican and Conservative interchangeable. There is a big difference.

    Rudy, Conservatives want everyone to succeed. Democrats want everyone depend on the Government. You are buying into the class-warfare of the Democrats. The fact is that most people in the USA, regardless if they came last week (legally or illegally) or are tenth generation want the country and the economy to do well. They reject government control over their lives (unless they just want to vegatate and live on government hand-outs). I've spent seven years of my life in Western, socialist countries and the reason they don't get anywhere is that they all seem to believe in the same failed policies the Democrat Party is forever pushing on the American people. Government is the problem, not the solution.

  • Wrangler

    Sorry ,Rudy Gonzalez, your probably a nice man , But when it comes to politics your blind as a bat . True , I hate simple answers to complicated issues ,BUT your so far off base there's no hope for you . Bless you man , wish there was help for you.

  • Fred Dawes

    Hispanic means Mexico city political system most hispanic not all are totally subjugated people by a evil political system in mexico and many other monkey counties have the same system of mexico.
    But all hispanic meaning Native inidan people with no real euroean blood lines are by that idea total despots and yes a monkey like obama would want people of mexico to vote for a despot of evil and many will help in the murder of the only nation that would take in the poor of south america, no other nation would be so total stupid.

  • Asher

    I am hopeful that alot of Hispanics and Blacks are waking up to the legacy Obama is leaving to our children, mounds of debt, less freedom, and lack of jobs. Our friends from Cuba were Land Owners, they left Cuba, never to return under Castro. Communism is not popular anywhere, and these patriots who came to America, especially in the Latino Community in Florida are not happy with Obama's policies. We all disagree on some matters, but the direction he has taken this Free Country is inexcusable. There are more blacks in poverty, due to lack of jobs now, and alot of people are not able to contribute to their local charities due to loosing their jobs, or getting laid off. They haven't created more jobs, and we are not producing more oil than ever before….But Electricity rates are necessarily skyrocketing….The President is good at Pep Talks, but his policies have left us in serious shape.

  • Carol Lawrence

    Democrats have placed this country in a huge mess. Stopping drilling for domestic oil, leading to expensive gasoline, higher prices for energy, food, and everything we have to buy. Seniors better get ready for what the Dems have planned for us. A 15 member panel of un-elected, un-confirmed appointed by Obama to control Medicare for seniors. Eventually Obama wants to extend this to Medicaid. These so called experts all love the British Healthcare System, which routinely euthanizes ill individuals. Cutting payments to physicians and hospitals. Seniors will be lucky to have any care. This topic should also be of interest to Hispanics, who are better than most ethic groups about caring for their elderly. I welcome immigrants with open arms if they come hear legally. Nite