Latino activists: GOP risks slipping into ‘irrelevancy’
As the Latino electorate headed toward a record turnout, Presente.org executive director Arturo Carmona said President Barack Obama’s potentially record-breaking support among that group of voters should send a signal to Republicans.
“If Republicans continue to follow on the course that the right wing and Tea Party have set for them, they’re going to find, they’re going to follow on the course of California Republicans, which is a course of irrelevancy and self-destruction,” Carmona told The Raw Story Tuesday.
Last week, Carmona and Presente accused Republicans of voter suppression efforts for a series of misleading billboards in Pennsylvania targeting Latinos by falsely saying they needed to show identification to vote. Univision reported that Spanish-speaking voters in Colorado had similar complaints Monday.
Roll Call reported Tuesday that poll workers in a northern Virginia precinct refused to help Spanish-speaking voters with their ballots. And some voters in Los Angeles complained about “unpleasant interactions” with the purportedly non-partisan True The Vote group.
However, Carmona said, Obama and the Democratic party are not guaranteed a down-party victory, either, since more Latinos are registering as Independent voters, as shown by polling data.
“They feel that neither party fully represents their interest,” he said. “Having said that, I think that they have abandoned the Republican party in a much faster way over the past couple of years because of their immigration policy across the board. I can tell you that our community and our membership is increasingly not as faithful to a particular party but more faithful to the interest of the community as we see it.”
Going into election day, analysis suggested Obama had won the support of 73 percent of registered Latino voters, compared to 24 percent for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Carmona said Obama’s action over the summer to institute a two-year deferred-deportation program for young immigrants was a factor.
Though Romney eventually promised to uphold the program if elected, Republican support for harsh anti-immigrant legislation like Arizona’s SB1070 wasn’t forgotten, Carmona said.
“It’s a no-brainer for us,” he said. “You see the harshest, the most racist racial profiling type of legislation ever to come out in the recent history of this country against Latinos, there’s no surprise on the reaction that Latinos are going to have.”
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