While admitting some Americans may resent the implication that Latinos will hold more sway over the presidential election than other groups, Ruben Navarrette Jr. says there are four reasons they will influence the November polls.
In an opinion column (via HispanicTips.com) Navarrette writes that Latinos have influence because
- The number of Hispanic voters has been increasing steadily — by 2 million since the last presidential election.
- Latino voters live in swing states that pick presidents.They are a major presence in four battlegrounds: Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico.
- Hispanics are up for grabs, more than African-Americans who vote overwhelmingly for Democrats and white conservative Christians who usually support Republicans.
- The Hispanic population will become more important and politically powerful.
Navarrette also looks at a dominant political topic – immigration – and the choices Latinos face in this election. “Latinos, according to the Pew study, are nearly twice as likely as the general public to support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. In the presidential matchup between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Latinos have a Hobson’s choice between a Republican challenger who talks about getting tough on illegal immigrants and a Democratic incumbent who already has,” he said.