The Influence of Hispanics in the 2012 Election

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Hispanics in the Election
Megan Bailey

Latino voters completely changed the 2012 election for the United States president. Many of the eligible Latino voters, voted for Barack Obama. But, why? The number of immigrants in the United States has drastically increased since 2008 and they took a different road than expected. Obama’s speech in El Paso, Texas on May 10, 2011 changed the hearts of many Latinos. He said, “The flow of immigrants has helped make this country stronger and more prosperous.” This statement immediately won the hearts of many immigrants who would be eligible to vote in 2012. They influenced the election, but what influenced them to vote the way they did? Would Obama have won the 2012 election without the votes from the Hispanics? Many commentators are answering no to that question. Nearly fifty-seven percent of the Hispanics identified as Democrat, while roughly fourteen percent identified as Republican. Seventy-five percent of the Latino voters stated that they would vote for Obama, leaving twenty-three percent to say they would vote for Romney. “In the past three presidential elections, Latino voters have played a crucial role in several states, swinging the election from Bush to Obama in 2008. Early results are showing Latino voters are making a crucial impact in the battleground states nationwide, demonstrating that the race for the White House will once again be decided by the Latino electorate,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO Educational Fund. Without the Latino voters, it is a big possibility that Obama would not have won the 2012 election. Many people are asking what influenced the Latino’s to vote the way they did; what did influence them? Obama’s speech on immigration that he delivered on May 10, 2011, caught the attention of the Hispanics. He spoke of the immigrants who were not yet citizens even, that signed up and stepped up to serve for this country. He asked why and they responded with statements of love,...