How To Court Latino Voters


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Credit: Flickr Public Domain
Come 2016, Latino voters may hold enough political clout to make or break any presidential hopeful.
If the White House is hosting the big dance, Latinos are holding the guest list at the door, and if a candidate isn’t on the VIP list, there will be no fiesta in the Oval Office.
But how do you get an invitation? It is a question that has baffled many contenders-in-chief, Republicans in particular, in recent years.
Granted, it is no easy task. For one, there is no one size fits all strategy. Latinos are not monolithic. There are great socioeconomic, educational, cultural and demographic variations that exist both between and within Latino ethnic groups.
An approach that might work with Dominicans may not fly with Colombians. A sombrero and a pava jibaro may both be hats, but beware if a candidate wears the wrong one to the Mexican Independence Day Festival or the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Here is what some folks have done, and refrained from doing, to win the seemingly coy, not easily cajoled, Latino vote. Call it, if you will, “The politician’s guide to wooing Latinos.”
Learn Español
“Hola Newo Yorko! El stormo grande is mucho dangeroso,” read the first tweet from @ElBloombito, a popular parody account aimed at poking fun at former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Spanish speaking alter ego, Miguel Bloombito.
Bloomberg, a Republican turned independent, was frequently lampooned for his Spanish pronunciation, or lack thereof. Yet, despite his frequently mangled, oftentimes hilarious, attempts at communicating with the city’s Spanish-speaking residents, Bloomberg found a way to connect.
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