If you caught the season premiere of Saturday Night Live (hello, new Obama!), you may have noticed their Weekend Update treatment of the presidential campaigns’ courting of Latin@ voters.
The larger story, of course, can be seen in the poll numbers: Obama currently leads the coveted demographic 66% to 29%, reminiscent of his 67% to 31% lead with Hispanic voters over John McCain in 2008.
Romney is fighting back by focusing on economic issues as Obama’s failure of this audience’s communities, as the Latin@ unemployment rate continues to hover a couple percentage points higher than the national average. In that theme, the “Romney campaign has run Spanish-language television ads targeting Hispanics, including one called ‘No podemos mas’ — translated to ‘We no longer can’ — that contrasts with Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan, ‘Yes, we can.’”
It’s immigration issues where matters get a little stickier. As the LA Times commented:
Clearly, Latinos don’t cast their votes based solely on whether a candidate supports comprehensive immigration reform or stricter enforcement. The economy, education, public safety are the top issues, just as they are for all voters. But Latinos don’t appreciate candidates who demonize immigrants either.
And while Romney himself may usually be a little too silver-tongued to outright demonize immigrants, he does campaign with people who do — notably Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who said that an electric fence should be built along the southern border to keep immigrants out because “we do this with livestock all the time.”
On that cheery note, for more background on this topic, read On the Issues’ report on Romney’s immigration policy here and view their report on Obama on this issue here.
P.S. What did you think of SNL’s coverage? And do you think Romney will be able to successfully court the Latin@ vote?