GOP Intensifies Its Outreach To Latino Voters Focusing On The Economy

Play associated audio

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is trying to end the deficit it's running with Latino voters by stepping up its outreach efforts.

President Barack Obama leads the presumptive Republican nominee by 40 percentage points among Latinos, according to the latest Pew Research Center poll.

In 2008, Obama carried two-thirds of the Latino vote, and just this week, the Obama re-election campaign released four Spanish-language ads.

The Republican National Committee's director of Hispanic outreach, Bettina Inclan, spoke to NPR's Scott Simon on Weekend Edition to explain how Republicans expect to close that gap.

Inclan acknowledges that the GOP has a lot to of work to do to connect with Hispanics. This week, the RNC announced the appointment of six Hispanic outreach directors in the key swing states of Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Virginia.

"The reason that we are putting people on the ground is because each of these communities is different. Hispanics are not a monolithic vote. They're different communities with different priorities," says Inclan.

She says Republicans can gain ground by focusing the discussion on the economy. A Pew Research Survey conducted last December, found that half of the Latino voters surveyed considered jobs to be an extremely important issue; only a third of those surveyed considered immigration an extremely important issue.

"The one thing that does tie them all together is the number one issue for the last two years for Hispanics — in poll after poll — has been the economy and jobs," said Inclan. "That's a direct reflection of the poor track record of President Barack Obama."

Meanwhile, Romney has faced criticism for his stance on immigration, including comments he made during the GOP primary debates that when faced with tough immigration laws, illegal immigrants would choose self-deportation.

Obama's campaign, meanwhile, is highlighting the president's record on the economy and efforts to improve access to education for Latinos. They say the president's administration has kept millions of Latinos from falling out of the middle class.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit

WAMU 88.5

The Music And Legacy Of Motown

Motown founder Berry Gordy and director Charles Randolph-Wright of “Motown the Musical" join Diane for a conversation about the history of Detroit's famous sound.

WAMU 88.5

Will Montgomery County Go "Bottoms Up" On Liquor Laws?

Since Prohibition, Montgomery County has held the purse strings on liquor sales, meaning the county sells every drink from beer to bourbon to local bars and restaurants. But local business owners are pushing back from this system, claiming it lacks efficiency and leaves customers waiting. County officials say they are holding out for alternatives that protect those within the industry. We discuss both sides of the issue today.

WAMU 88.5

Exelon's Chief Strategy Officer On Its Proposed Takeover Of Pepco

Kojo chats with Exelon's chief strategy officer about the company's vision for electric service in the Washington region, and its argument for why its acquisition of Pepco is in the best interest of customers.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Another year is coming to a close and the Computer Guys And Gal are here to discuss this year's biggest technology news, including the growth of virtual reality and the "Internet of Things."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.