Friday, October 26, 2012

Jose Fulgencio: Does the Hispanic Vote matter this November?

                          isaac brekken / associated press file

The 2012 Presidential Election will be one of the most electrifying campaigns in recent memory. If you subscribe to the email listserv of President Obama and/or Governor Mitt Romney you more than likely receive consistent emails from the presidential candidates. From the pay-for-by commercials, to the various television interviews, some questions still remain unanswered.

An important question from the 2012 Presidential Election is what is at stake for the Hispanic voters? Will this election finally bring the opportunity of a candidate who will tackle comprehensive immigration reform? Or will it be another election that will have both candidates promising the Hispanic community a fairy tale story and failing short of that promise as President Obama did with immigration comprehensive reform his first year in office.

The 2nd Presidential Debate (October 17, 2012) gave the American public a chance to hear each candidate’s stance on immigration reform. President Obama is for comprehensive immigration reform and has most recently signed an executive order for Deferred Action of Child Arrival (DACA). While Governor Mitt Romney, although not in favor of the DREAM Act, suggests a solution to solve the undocumented immigration issue his first day in office.

Hispanic voters have publically shown support on both sides. For instance Hispanic celebrities, such as comedian actor Paul Rodriguez has openly endorsed Governor Mitt Romney in response to his anger towards President Obama and his administration in how he handled a water situation effecting farmers in San Joaquin Valley, California. Actress Eva Longoria, a national co-chair in President Obamas re-election campaign, is a strong supporter of President Obama’s economic and immigration policies.

Ms. Longoria and Paul Rodriguez are just several Hispanic celebrities weighing in on the presidential election. Overall, Hispanic celebrities support President Obama with a margin of 69% compared to 23% for Governor Mitt Romney.

The Hispanic vote will be crucial in Florida, Nevada and Colorado for both campaigns. The stakes are high in Nevada as it faces tough un-employment numbers and Florida is a key swing state with issues such as healthcare and the economy playing a factor. Hispanic voters should educate themselves and vote based on what they believe is best for them. The Hispanic community as a whole should not be played out as a homogenous group.

The Democrat and Republican Party should consider the fact that Hispanics hold strong American values just as much as any other voter in the election. Although both parties are eager to win the Hispanic vote, especially in Nevada, Florida and Colorado, it is important to know that the next president must strengthen the economy and solve the immigration situation occurring in the Hispanic community.

Therefore will the Hispanic voters play a key role in the presidential election to vote for Romney? Or is the vote already set for President Obama?

About the Author: Jose Fulgencio is currently a Lecturer in the Political Science Department at Oklahoma State University, a graduate student finishing up my M.S. in Entrepreneurship (May 2013) and in the process of launching his third business venture with the guidance of the School of Entrepreneurship faculty at Oklahoma State University

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