The Elusive Latino Vote

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The Latino Vote

The Latino Vote

Too often phrases such as “Hispanic community,” and “Latino segment” are utilized in political conversation. Can we really lump this largely diversified demographic into one single category? As this idea carries over to politics, Republicans in particular must cater to the array of U.S Hispanics that exist in the United States if they want to win hearts and minds.  According to exit polls, Mitt Romney won only 27 percent of Hispanic votes in November, while Obama earned 71 percent.

In his Washington Post essay “Who is Latino,” Carlos Lozada draws attention to this theory, noting that “Latino” cannot be broken down into one specific group.

“Is being Latino a matter of geography, as simple as where you or your ancestors came from? Is it the language you speak or how well you speak it? Is it some common culture? Or is it just vaguely brown complexion and a last name ending in ‘a,’ ‘o’ or ‘z’?”

Lozada draws on the point that politicians aren’t gaining much momentum within the Hispanic communities by sending out a vague message in order to gain the “Latino” vote. In a recent survey by Pew Hispanic, when asked whether Latinos in America shared a common culture, almost 7 out of every 10 said this was not the case. Political leaders must focus on reaching all of the unique Hispanic populations that compose the nearly 51 million Hispanic people in the U.S today.

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