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The Influence of Hispanics in the 2012 Election

By wildflower17 Dec 17, 2012 762 Words
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, respect, and gratitude for the red, white and blue. They finally had someone with power who respected them and they returned the feeling. He says, “That’s the promise of this country – that anyone can write the next chapter of our story. It doesn’t matter where you come from; what matters is that you believe in the ideals on which we were founded; that you believe all of us are equal and deserve the freedom to pursue happiness. In embracing America, you can become American. And that enriches all of us.” Obama had finally gained respect from the Hispanic population. He spoke that immigrants were important to this nation, which they are, as long as they adopt and respect the American heritage for what it is and always has been. The Latino people realized that Barack Obama was on their side. They knew that he respected them as immigrants and knew that they loved the country just as much as the American natives. Their decision on who to vote for in the November 2012 election was made on this very day; no questions asked. In the 2012 election, some commentators argued that the Hispanic population would decide the outcome of the election. Across the country, several groups worked together to register Latino voters, so they could vote and finally have a say in their destination. But, will they have an impact on future elections? The last census showed hundreds of thousands of Hispanics under the age of eighteen. By the time the next election comes around, many of those people will meet the voters age and become registered and eligible to vote. Since their parents voted this year, it will influence them to step up and speak their opinions, because they see the good that can come out of it. If the Hispanic population keeps growing the way it is now and the trend continues, they could hold a great impact on all future elections. They will play a huge role in deciding the fate of this country in the future. Looking at the percentages and statistics, we see and collect that Latino voters played a crucial part in the 2012 election. They decided who would win the race for the White House and title. Obama’s speech in El Paso, Texas in May of 2011, won him respect and votes right then. Without the Latino’s votes, the election could have gone an entirely different route. In the future, we will see even more Latino voters rising and speaking their opinions and they will continue to be a crucial part of U.S. presidential elections.

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