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In 2010, the Hispanic electoral tidal wave dissipated. Latino voters, along with Asian voters, mainly avoided the 2010 election. A record 14.7 million Hispanic voters, in effect, sat on their hands for the 2010 race, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. The absence from the ballot boxes of so many Hispanic voters hurt many Democrats.
Fewer than 31 percent of eligible Hispanic and Asian voters went to the polls in the 2010 congressional elections, compared with 49 percent of eligible white voters and 44 percent of eligible black voters, the Pew report said.
The picture of minority voting comes in the wake of a poll showing the support for Obama among Latinos down by more than 25 percent from what it was at the start of his administration, should send shivers up Democratic spines—even of those who are spineless on many issues.
More signs that the Obama “spell” is fading: After winning 67% of the Latino vote in 2008, only 43 percent of Hispanics polled by Univision—the Spanish language TV network in the U.S.– at the end of last July said Obama has addressed their needs. Another 32 percent indicated they were uncertain, while 21 percent said they believe Obama has done a poor job.
A meeting of Republicans in South Florida aimed at extending the GOP’s outreach to Latino voters was co-chaired by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The conference was organized by the new Hispanic Action Network. It is one of a number of Republican efforts to influence Latino voters before the 2012 election.
CNN reported in 2010 that 38 percent of Hispanic voters cast ballots for Republican candidates, compared to only 29 percent in 2008. Significantly, Republican Susana Martinez was elected governor of New Mexico (46 percent Hispanic population), Brian Sandoval became governor of Nevada (27 percent Hispanic population) and Marco Rubio won the U.S. Senate race in Florida (23 percent Hispanic).
Exit polls indicated that 38 percent of Latino voters voted for House Republican candidates in 2010. This “despite pre-election claims by advocates for illegal immigration that a pro-rule-of-law stand would alienate Hispanic voters,” wrote Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) June 2 in Politico. Five Hispanic Republicans were elected to the House. “They focused on patriotism, rule of law, freedom, family, support for small business, jobs, and education,” Smith wrote.
Most of these are fundamental values from which President Obama has distanced himself.
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