Romney targeting Hispanic voters to win presidency
Posted at: 08/27/2012 5:48 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, Eyewitness News 4
Sen. Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney is counting on Hispanic voters to help him win the White House - and that makes New Mexico an inviting target for the Republican presidential campaign.
New Mexico has the largest proportion of Hispanic voters of any state in the country - 40 percent - and that makes our state one of the keys for Romney's Hispanic strategy.
It's a tall order, though. Romney's campaign is gunning for 38 percent of the Hispanic or Latino vote nationwide. The candidate himself admitted back in April that his campaign is "doomed" if it cannot reach out and win over enough Hispanic voters.
"It's an important goal," said University of New Mexico political science professor Christine Sierra, an expert in Hispanic politics. " Whether it's achievable or not is another question."
Sierra points out that four years ago Republican John McCain managed to win only 31 percent of the national Hispanic vote. Back in 2004, George W. Bush won re-election to the Presidency with 40 percent of the Hispanic vote.
She said Romney has his work cut out for him in New Mexico this time.
"In general, the Hispanic electorate supports an active government," Sierra said. "They want to see the government help them get jobs, get a good public education, get health care."
Sierra said that when Republican Susana Martinez was elected governor two years ago, she won with 38 percent of the Hispanic vote - exactly Romney's target this time. Her speech to the Republican convention in Tampa Wednesday night is expected to be one of the highlights of the convention.